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"The riders in our team first raced in Canada and are already used to the time difference for a while now; that’s definitely positive. We already had a fantastic season and it’s our goal to finish in top ten."

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BART DE CLERCQ

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GREGORY HENDERSON

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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TIM WELLENS

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TONY GALLOPIN

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WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

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18.09.2015 @ 16:15 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

On Sunday, the World Championships road cycling in Richmond (USA) will start with the team time trial. This discipline, which is on the programme for the fourth consecutive year now, is contested by trade teams instead of national teams. Lotto Soudal selected Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Tony Gallopin, Greg Henderson, Jürgen Roelandts and Tim Wellens.

 

The distance of the team time trial is relatively short: 38.8 kilometres. The course, which runs mainly over straight roads, isn’t entirely flat. There are no real climbs, but there are some uphill sections, like Governor Street (300 metres, 6.9%) in the final kilometre. The Lotto Soudal team travelled from Canada, where the six riders had taken part in the GP Montréal, to Richmond on Monday. During the last few days they did several recons of the circuit.

 

Sports director Herman Frison and rider Greg Henderson give their opinion of the course and tell us what ambition Lotto Soudal has.

 

“The past days we did recons of the course. Our riders got on the time trial bike and also trained behind the scooter to get used to the high speed that will be necessary for the race on Sunday. We are doing all we can to be at our best and to stay motivated," Frison said.

 

“It’s a beautiful course over wide roads. Fifteen kilometres before the finish the course heads into a small wood, a recon of that part is really important because there are some corners. For the rest the roads are rather straight. It’s never really flat, especially not in the second part of the race, but there aren’t any tough climbs. The finish zone goes slightly uphill but it’s flatter than Governor Street.

 

“This is a rather short distance for a team time trial, it will be a matter of finding the right rhythm quite soon. The riders will have to go full gas from the beginning. There is no time to doubt. You need a homogenous team, nobody should be better than the others. The team is only as good as it weakest link.

 

"We chose not to select riders of our Vuelta squad. The riders in our team first raced in Canada and are already used to the time difference for a while now; that’s definitely positive. We already had a fantastic season and it’s our goal to finish in top ten.

 

"My top three? In random order: BMC, Etixx – Quick-Step and Orica – GreenEdge.”

 

For the third year in a row Greg Henderson is on the roster for the team time trial.

 

"I’m looking forward to racing on Sunday. As hard as it is, this is a discipline I enjoy. I like the idea of racing as hard as I can with five teammates," he said. "It’s a fast and flowing course. There are some technical sections, but also long straight pieces of road where we will go very fast. On the circuit you get a couple of uphill parts that could potentially cause some trouble if you don’t attack them correctly, but we already did a few recons so we know where all the potholes are and what lines to take through the corners.

 

“We have a very strong team and the course suits us, it’s good that there are so many straight parts to keep the speed up. We already rode on Governor Street and I don’t expect it to be a problem either. The course really isn’t hard at all, because you attack the hills with speed. You often hit the bottom of the hill at 70 kilometres an hour because you come from a downhill section.

 

"The result is impossible to guess, everything has to go perfectly for all of us. The six of us have to be at our best. With the best possible scenario we could get a top five result. The difference at the top of the ranking will be very small, the usual suspects for the victory are BMC, Etixx – Quick-Step and Orica – GreenEdge.”

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