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"Our first goal is to get a good GC with De Clercq, Monfort and Wellens. Of course that way they also have a chance to win a stage. In stage three we aim for Jens Debusschere," Heynderickx says

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BART DE CLERCQ

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FREDERIK WILLEMS

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GREGORY HENDERSON

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JELLE VANENDERT

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MAXIME MONFORT

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TIM WELLENS

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VUELTA A ANDALUCIA

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18.02.2014 @ 13:29 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lotto Belisol will line up at this week's Vuelta a Andalusia with a focus on the GC. Maxime Monfort, Bart De Clercq, and Tim Wellens will have an eye on the overall standings in the mountainous race while Jens Debusschere will target success in the two sprint stages in the five-day race.

 

Lotto Belisol will be back in the Vuelta a Andalusia after a highly successful 2013 showing that saw Jurgen Van Den Broeck end 2nd overall behind Alejandro Valverde. Even though Van Den Broeck will not be back as he is currently riding the Tour of Oman, the Belgian team will again have an eye on the GC in the mountainous race.

 

The riders expected to come away with the goods are new signing Maxime Monfort and climbers Tim Wellens and Bart De Clercq. They will have to overcome the opening prologue and two uphill finishes on stages 1 and 2 that are likely to determine the final standings.

 

The final two stages are expected to end in bunch sprints where Lotto Belisol will focus on Jens Debusschere who was 2nd in the Trofeo Palma last week. The race will also be the scene of the comeback for lead-out man Greg Henderson who had knee surgery during the winter.

 

Jelle Vanendert will also make his return to competitive action after his crash in the Tour de San Luis. He hurt his elbow but managed to battle through most of the race before abandoning on the penultimate stage. The team is completed by Frederik Willems.

 

"Both Greg Henderson and Jelle Vanendert are ready to come back after their injury," sports director Jean-Pierre Heynderickx said. "Of course Greg has no optimal condition yet, because he hasn't ridden any races so far this year. We have to wait and see if he will be able to fully play the part as lead-out man for Jens Debusschere. For Greg and Jelle, the Ruta del Sol is important to get competition rhythm.

 

"Lots will be clear after tomorrow's prologue about the role of our other three climbers: De Clercq, Monfort and Wellens. The course is quite technical, with many roundabouts. We'll do a thorough recon of it. Maxime Monfort is of course a good time trialist, but also Tim Wellens  has the capacities to maintain a good position for GC after the prologue. Tomorrow will be a first important day for the overall classification.

 

"The first stage has quite a tough start with almost immediately a climb of first category of about ten kilometers. There's also a tough final that day. The second stage will be decisive for the GC, there's a mountain finish. Our first goal is to get a good GC with De Clercq, Monfort and Wellens. Of course that way they also have a chance to win a stage. In stage three we aim for Jens Debusschere. Depending on the race developments also the last stage might end with a sprint of a big group."

 

You can read our preview of the race here.

 

Lotto Belisol for the Vuelta a Andalusia

Jelle Vanendert, Maxime Monfort, Bart De Clercq, Tim Wellens, Jens Debusschere, Greg Henderson, and Frederik Willems

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