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“If we win one stage now and get a good result in the overall with Baugnies, who was 7th last year, I am content. It's all down to the form of Robert and Tom Devriendt in the bunch sprints. Last year Robert was on top form when he...

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BJÖRN LEUKEMANS

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DANILO NAPOLITANO

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ENRICO GASPAROTTO

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FRANCIS DE GREEF

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FREDERIK VEUCHELEN

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FREDERIQUE ROBERT

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JAN GHYSELINCK

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JEROME BAUGNIES

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MARCO MARCATO

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MIRKO SELVAGGI

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VOLTA AO ALGARVE

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VUELTA A ANDALUCIA

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WANTY - GROUPE GOBERT

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YANNICK EIJSSEN

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12.02.2015 @ 15:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Wanty-Groupe Gobert rides three different races next week. The team that already did GP Marseillaise and Etoile de Bessèges travels to the south of Portugal for the Volta ao Algarve which starts Wednesday 18 February. 

“The team that rides Algarve is roughly the same as the team for Omloop het Nieuwsblad,” sports director Hilaire Van Der Schueren says. “The stages in Portugal are longer and that is important in these early stages of the season." 

“There is a time trial and we don't have any specialists. I therefore don't travel to Portugal with ambitions for the overall classification," Van Der Schueren continues. "The first and last stages offer possibilities for the sprinters. We'd like to see how far we get with Roy Jans." 

“I want to show myself as best as I can in the stages where we'll probably have a sprint. There I want to see how far I stand against sprinters like Greipel. Our sprint train with Dron, Van Melsen, Antonini, Leukemans and Marcato needs to gain experience and get used to each other. In Bessèges we did well and were very strong," the winner of the second stage in the French stage race concludes. 

 

Flemish six Jérôme Baugnies, Lander Seynaeve, Tim De Troyer, Tom Devriendt, Fréderique Robert and James Vanlandschoot leave for Gabon to ride the Tropicale Amissa Bongo which starts on Monday. 

“Last year we won four out of seven stages and were fourth in the overall classification. Doing better than that will be hard," sports director Steven De Neef explains.

“This year's course is more to the east in the first three days. It's hillier near Franceville and that should suit Jérôme Baugnies.”

Last year Roy Jans, Baugnies and Fréderique Robert won a stage. “If we win one stage now and get a good result in the overall with Baugnies, who was 7th last year, I am content. It's all down to the form of Robert and Tom Devriendt in the bunch sprints. Last year Robert was on top form when he won two stages."  

The organization in Gabon is good and professional, the team has noticed last year. 

“Racing in Africa is different though. You don't have your own cars, bus or trucks of course. The peloton also has another level which makes for different racing than in Europe," De Neef concludes. 

 

The last seven riders of the 21-rider Wanty-Groupe Gobert 2015 team take part in the Ruta del Sol. This five-day stage race in the south of Spain sees some strong riders on the start list including several Grand Tour winners. 

“The Ruta del Sol is the perfect race to start the season with. There are stages for sprinters, a time trial and uphill finishes. All our riders make their season debut in this race. Therefore the main goal is to get some kilometres in the legs in a race situation," sports director Jean-Marc Rossignon says.

For Enrico Gaspararotto the Ruta del Sol is the start of the build-up towards the Ardennes Classics in April. The Italian has spent a lot of time on the Teide, Tenerife to train this winter. Furthermore Rossignon counts on Danilo Napolitano for the sprints and a good result for Jan Ghyselinck in the time trial.

“Minnaard, Eijssen, De Greef and Selvaggi should do well in the overall classification. The first day things will be clearer with a nervous short stage in the morning and a time trial in the afternoon. After that we'll define our tactics further. The Ruta del Sol is a hard race with strong riders like Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana on the start list. But Wanty-Groupe Gobert is there to show themselves and not only to ride along." 

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