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"We don’t really have a rider for the overall classification, we aim for a stage win. If a stage ends with a bunch sprint, which is very likely in the first two stages, Boris Vallée is our man."

Photo: Lotto Soudal














19.05.2015 @ 11:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lotto Soudal is one of the teams that start in the Tour of Norway this week. This is a Europe Tour stage race of five days, from Wednesday 20th May until Sunday 24th May in the south of the country.


The first two stages really suit the sprinters. On the third day the riders have to climb. At 23 kilometres from the finish they will reach the top of a climb of 11.3 kilometres with an average gradient of 7%. After a long descent the last kilometres are uphill as well. In the first half of the fourth stage there is a climb of 24 kilometres with an average gradient of 4.3%. The finish line is drawn on top of a hill of 2.3 kilometres with an average gradient of 7.9%. The last stage ends with three laps with a short climb of 1.6 kilometres, perfect for an attack.


“The third stage, with a first category climb and an uphill finish, will be very important for GC," sports director Mario Aerts said. "We don’t really have a rider for the overall classification, we aim for a stage win.


"If a stage ends with a bunch sprint, which is very likely in the first two stages, Boris Vallée is our man. Tosh Van der Sande  will sprint if there is a tougher finale and a smaller group heads to the finish. Pim Ligthart is fast as well, he has the capacity to attack in the last kilometer and beat the peloton. That might be an option for the last stage.


"I also see opportunities for escapees, then it’s up to Dennis Vanendert and Sean De Bie. Vegard Breen is the local hero, he comes back after an injury. He’s very keen, but we’ll have to see how his condition is.”


Vegard Breen gets back in competition in his home country after he was out for three weeks with a double elbow fracture, which he suffered in the E3 Harelbeke at the end of March.


“I’m very much looking forward to the Tour of Norway, I’m excited to start racing again. It was a tough time, to be out for several weeks. I stayed positive and focused on my rehabilitation. I’ve been able to resume my normal training rhythm since two weeks and every day I made progress," he said. "


"My goal is to finish the Tour of Norway. Depending on how I feel, my role will become clear during the stage race. It will be nice to race in my home country. Of course I had hoped to start in a better form but it is what it is. My family will come to support me in some stages. No doubt the atmosphere will be good along the route, because cycling is really popular in Norway.”


Selection Lotto Soudal: 

Vegard Breen, Sean De Bie, Pim Ligthart, Boris Vallée, Tosh Van der Sande and Dennis Vanendert.



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