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"We have three leaders for the sprint. All of them are very good riders and they’re able to get nice results. Kris really dominated this race last year by winning two stages and obtaining the overall victory. It would be great if...

Photo: Lotto Soudal

JASPER DE BUYST

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JELLE WALLAYS

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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KRIS BOECKMANS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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STIG BROECKX

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TIESJ BENOOT

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TOUR DE PICARDIE

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12.05.2016 @ 13:58 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

From Friday to Sunday, the 70th edition of the Tour de Picardie will take place. The peloton will cover three stages through the northwest of France. All stages have a rather flat profile and therefore this stage race, which is part of the Europe Tour, will give a few opportunities to the sprinters.

 

 

Lotto Soudal participates with a Classics line-up in this stage race. Jens Debusschere will ride his first race after his crash in Ghent-Wevelgem. But also Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst and Marcel Sieberg will be back in competition after a rest period. Sports director Marc Wauters gives a preview.

 

“It’s the first time that I’m doing the Tour de Picardie as a sports director," he said. "This race is traditionally a sprint fest and also this year I expect such an outcome, especially when the weather is nice. But the weather forecast for the coming weekend is not so good. A real bunch sprint can be avoided when there’s a lot of wind on the course. It will depend on the direction of the wind of course, but maybe there will be a chance to form echelons.

 

"Our team is very good at riding in echelons, it already proved that in the Tour of Turkey. If the wind is absent, the stages will most likely end with a mass sprint finish. The strength of this team is that it’s able to perform well in both situations. We have some strong riders like Frederik Frison, Tiesj Benoot and Jelle Wallays who can ride aggressively, but we can also wait for a sprint with Jens Debusschere, Kris Boeckmans or Jasper De Buyst. The tactic will be decided during the race.

 

“In my opinion, we go with a very strong team to France. A few riders are coming back to competition after a long rest period, it will depend on how the legs will be in the race. We have three leaders for the sprint. All of them are very good riders and they’re able to get nice results.

 

"Kris really dominated this race last year by winning two stages and obtaining the overall victory. It would be great if he’s able to win a stage this year, but we can’t expect too much. We’ll decide during the race who’ll participate in the sprint. The rider who has the best feeling will have the chance to sprint. The other riders are professional enough to know how to deal with that and they’ll need to help the leader. The most important thing is that the team takes the victory.”

 

“We have also Marcel Sieberg in our team, he’s someone who has a great amount of experience. He will be our team captain and he’ll also help when a decision needs to be made. Marcel is a true leader and he knows what to do in what situation. We aren’t always able to handle quickly from the team car so it’s very useful to have someone like him in the team. In certain moments, Marcel can take the lead and motivate the team.

 

"I think that Cofidis will be the main competitor with their sprinter Nacer Bouhanni. They’ll certainly try to go for a stage win, but this can also be an advantage, as we will have an ally if an attack needs to be neutralized. I’m sure that our team will be able to show something during these three days.”

 

Roster Lotto Soudal: 

Tiesj Benoot, Kris Boeckmans, Stig Broeckx, Jasper De Buyst, Jens Debusschere, Frederik Frison, Marcel Sieberg and Jelle Wallays.

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