Little competition in the legs, but great motivation for home stage race
After a refreshing Bike Day Wanty-Groupe Gobert heads to a home race this week: Baloise Belgium Tour (2.HC, 24-28/05). Team leader Hilaire Van der Schueren will appeal the following riders for the five-day stage race: Simone Antonini, Frederik Backaert, Kenny Dehaes, Wesley Kreder, Danilo Napolitano, Dion Smith, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Pieter Vanspeybrouck. The sports director analyses the shape of our riders.
Hilaire Van der Schueren: “Our preparations for the Tour of Belgium did not go out without bumps. A lot of riders have little competition in the legs. Wesley Kreder has become a father a few weeks ago and did not ride in Dunkirk. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Dion Smith come back from an altitude camp and like Pieter Vanspeybrouck (last year 7th) they had a long period without races.
“Danilo Napolitano and Kenny Dehaes have to sprint for victory. Hopefully it will come true for Kenny this week. In Duinkerke there was an improvement, he worked very well last week and hopefully he will be able to pick the benefits. Frederik Backaert has undergone a small medical intervention after a seat problem and did not ride the bike for three days. Finally, Simone Antonini returns from sickness, but he rides better and better every day. ”
“This team is therefore in a first stage towards Dauphiné and Tour de Luxembourg, where we focus more on a good result. But in Belgium we want to show us. Perhaps at the end of the week we can get the benefits of the altitude camp from Smith and Van Keirsbulck. The time trial should suit Van Keirsbulck, but we have to see if he can survive the Ardennes stage.”