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"We expect to play a role in the finale with Jens Debusschere, Tony Gallopin, Jürgen Roelandts and Tim Wellens."

Photo: A.S.O.

ADAM HANSEN

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JELLE VANENDERT

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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MILANO - SANREMO

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PIM LIGTHART

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TIM WELLENS

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TONY GALLOPIN

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17.03.2016 @ 16:08 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

On Saturday it’s time for the first big Classic of the season: Milan-Sanremo. A real monument in cycling, it’s already the 107th edition. It’s difficult to predict who will triumph on the Via Roma after 291 kilometres through the north of Italy. Lotto Soudal has several cards to play. Herman Frison, sports director in the race, shares his expectations.

 

 

“Often Milan-Sanremo is told to be the easiest of the Classics, but that definitely isn’t the case," he says. "The race is less easy than it looks like. It’s such a long and nervous race. From the moment the riders reach the coast the tempo is raised. Once they are at the bottom of the Cipressa the real battle begins. At the Capi it’s always a fight for position and before the bottom of the Cipressa you get into a funnel so there it’s also important to be in the right position. On the Cipressa you can expect attacks, afterwards the peloton will have fallen apart. Same story on the Poggio. Your position at the top is so crucial, because from then on it’s not far anymore to the finish and it’s a really fast descent. Mentally this race is really hard. Milan-Sanremo is also an honest race. The strongest are left at the end.”

 

Due to a rib injury André Greipel won’t be riding Milan-Sanremo. Tony Gallopin, Jürgen Roelandts and Tim Wellens, all in the top fifteen last year (9th, 11th and 15th respectively, LTS) will be part of the Lotto Soudal team on Saturday.

 

Herman Frison says: “It’s always a loss for the team when Greipel can’t start in such a race, but his injury needs time to heal so it’s not an option to ride Milan-Sanremo. Besides, this race requires one hundred per cent of your strength. We did have several protected riders for Milan-Sanremo before Greipel was removed from the selection.

 

"We expect to play a role in the finale with Jens Debusschere, Tony Gallopin, Jürgen Roelandts and Tim Wellens. What Jens is concerned we just have to wait if he still has some trouble after his crash at Strade Bianche. Tim and Tony proved in Paris-Nice that they are ready and also Jürgen left a good impression at Tirreno. Milan-Sanremo is a race that fits Jürgen’s capabilities and then he’s always dangerous.

 

“There are always a lot of questions in Milan-Sanremo. Who will dare to attack? Who will wait for the sprint on the Via Roma? There is also a chance of a solo. The list with potential winners is long. Fabian Cancellara, Fernando Gaviria, Alexander Kristoff, Zdenek Stybar and Greg Van Avermaet just to mention a few. It’s difficult to predict the winner. What exactly happens in the race could be a surprise, because if you use your energy too soon it’s over. Anyway, at the end the state of the legs will decide who gets the victory.”

 

Line-up Lotto Soudal: 

Jens Debusschere, Tony Gallopin, Adam Hansen, Pim Ligthart, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.

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