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"In the stages of Friday and Saturday I definitely want to have a go. I will also help the team if we get a bunch sprint in Knokke-Heist.”

Photo: Lotto Soudal

BELGIUM TOUR

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JASPER DE BUYST

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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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THOMAS DE GENDT

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TIESJ BENOOT

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27.05.2015 @ 11:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The next five days (27 – 31/05) Lotto Soudal will ride the Baloise Belgium Tour as Joker+ Soudal. This Europe Tour race starts today with a prologue of 6.85 kilometres in Bornem. On Thursday there is the traditional sprint stage between Lochristi and Knokke-Heist.

 

New in the Belgium Tour is the Golden Kilometre. Starting on Thursday it will be a daily intermezzo 25 kilometres before the end. It consists three intermediate sprints over one kilometre where three, two or one bonification second can be picked up each time. This could be very important for the final ranking.

 

“We go to the Belgium Tour to win a stage and get a good GC. This is an important race for us as Belgian team. We want to put even more attention to the action of Joker+ Soudal by setting good results. It doesn’t matter which rider wins a stage. We have Jens Debusschere in our team, but also Jasper De Buyst is fast. We have several options with Tiesj Benoot, Thomas De Gendt and Jelle Vanendert in the selection. For Jelle this is his first race after a rest period," sports director Herman Frison said.

 

“The prologue is important for the GC riders. Often it’s close together in the top five. The bonification seconds will be important, which can be won at the intermediate sprints of the Golden Kilometre and at the finish.

 

"There are three tough stages. In the stage to the Flemish Ardennes, with the cobbles and hills in the finale, important time gaps can be created. The Petiti Poggio lies closer to the finish of Saturday’s stage than in previous years and the hill has to be covered several times, so that stage has become harder. The toughest stage is the last one.”

 

“The World Ports Classic was my first race since the classics," Roelandts said. "I didn’t have much time to get used to the race rhythm, because the pace was really high. We had an average speed of more than 45 km/hour on Saturday. But still, I immediately felt it went smoothly. Of course it’s nice the team won with Kris Boeckmans. I did his lead-out in the second stage, that means I was good in the finale. This makes me hopeful.

 

“I’d love to win a stage in the Belgium Tour, but this is also a preparation for the Tour de Suisse and the National Championships at the end of June. My next main goals lie in August and September. As I said, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to do well in this Belgium Tour, on the contrary. In the stages of Friday and Saturday I definitely want to have a go. I will also help the team if we get a bunch sprint in Knokke-Heist.”

 

Selection Joker+ Soudal: 

Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst, Thomas De Gendt, Jens Debusschere, Gert Dockx, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg and Jelle Vanendert.

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