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“We’ll see which of our riders can aim for a good GC . If someone does well in stage two or three, he can be considered as a candidate for the GC."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

BORIS VALLÉE

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JELLE VANENDERT

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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KENNY DE HAES

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KRIS BOECKMANS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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LOUIS VERVAEKE

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TOSH VAN DER SANDE

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TOUR DE WALLONIE 

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23.07.2015 @ 14:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The 36th edition of the Tour de Wallonie, a Belgian stage race that is part of the Europe Tour, brings the peloton over five stages through the beautiful but hilly French speaking area of Belgium. From 25 July till 29 July, the riders have to cover some tough stages. In every stage, there are a few steep hills on the course. The classics riders will certainly love it. Nevertheless, the sprinters will have their chances too.

 

During the first stage, the riders won’t get much time to warm up. There are immediately a few hills between Wanze and Hannut, eight in total. After a run-up of 70 kilometres, the riders will ride two laps of 60 kilometres. In each lap, they have to climb the Côte de Wanzoul and the Côte de Huccorgne. Afterwards there are 25 flat kilometres. This is probably going to be a sprint stage. Along the way, there are three intermediate sprints, that’s the case in every stage. On day two, the peloton will ride from Beaufays to Bassenge. Again the riders need to overcome a whole bunch of hills, nine to be precise. There’s also a local lap of 30 kilometres, the final climb is at five kilometres from the finish.

 

The third stage brings the peloton from Bastogne to Namur over a distance of more than 200 kilometres. With ten climbs in total, among them the Côte de la Citadelle de Namur at the end, there will definitely be a split in the field. In stage four, between Waterloo and Quaregnon, there’s first a long run-up of 130 kilometres before the riders are coming to the zone of truth. Two local laps of seventeen kilometres will be covered, with two hills in each lap. The last day, with start in Chimay and finish in Thuin, is almost a copy of the previous one. Yet again, there’s an long run-up and the heavy part is at the end. This time, the riders need to ride three laps of twelve kilometres, with the Mur de Thuin on the course. This hill needs to be climbed four times.

 

For Lotto Soudal, Jürgen Roelandts and Kris Boeckmans will participate. There are other interesting names that will start in these stage race, like Tom Boonen, Philippe Gilbert and Edward Theuns. The winner of last year's race, Gianni Meersman, will also be there. Lotto Soudal sports director Mario Aerts gives a little preview.

 

“It’s certain that the riders will get a tough stage race, Christophe Brandt has done his best to make a diversified course," he said. "The classics riders, the sprinters and the riders for the breakaway will all have their chance to win a stage or to obtain the overall victory.

 

“The first stage will most likely be a sprint stage. Therefore we have Dehaes, Boeckmans and Vallée in our selection. The second and third stage will be tougher for the sprinters because of the many hills, the breakaway can last till the end here. Maybe Vanendert can try something on the Citadelle de Namur in the third stage. Day four and five are stages where the classics riders can do something, riders like like Roelandts or Gilbert. Vervaeke and Van der Sande will get a sort of free role. They can be in a breakaway for instance.

 

“We’ll see which of our riders can aim for a good GC . If someone does well in stage two or three, he can be considered as a candidate for the GC. It will also depend on who will be fully recovered from the training camp in Livigno. Everyone has been training very well, but one always have to wait how the legs will feel in the first race after such a training camp. Principally, the aim is to win a stage. After that we will see how the race is evolving.”

 

Selection

Kris Boeckmans, Kenny Dehaes, Jürgen Roelandts, Boris Vallée, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert and Louis Vervaeke.

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