Lotto Belisol: Preview Eneco Tour
Tomorrow the Eneco Tour starts, this stage race through Belgium and the Netherlands ends next Sunday in Geraardsbergen. André Greipel and Jürgen Roelandts are the leaders at Lotto Belisol. With Lars Boom the winner of the previous edition is standing at the start of this WorldTour race. Sylvain Chavanel and Niki Terpstra who shared the podium with him last year will also be participating. Just like former Tour winner Bradley Wiggins. Apart from them also a bunch of fast guys will attend against whom André Greipel can sprint, like Daniele Bennati, Theo Bos, Danny and Boy Van Poppel and Marcel Kittel.
In the opening stage the sprinters will more than likely get to battle a first time. The day afterwards the finish lies in Vorst and there are six hills on the course. In the final the peloton has to cover the Alsemberg and Bruine Put, known from the Brabantse Pijl. In the next three stages the race heads to the Netherlands. The fourth stage starts in the Belgian town of Essen and in the early phase of the race there is another passage in Belgium. On Friday there’s an individual time trial of 13,2 km in Sittard-Geleen. This will already be important for GC, but in the weekend the toughest part has to come with two hilly stages. On Saturday the finish is on La Redoute, where the race passes for the third time that day. On Sunday the final stage ends with two loops around Geraardsbergen, the Muur has to be conquered three times.
Herman Frison, sports director: “First of all we want to win a stage with André Greipel and if possible two. The first two stages we have the best chance for a victory. The stage to Vorst is pretty feisty, but it should definitely be possible. Our second goal is a good GC with Jürgen Roelandts, with the time trial and the finish on La Redoute that won’t be evident. The time trial isn’t that long. If Jürgen is good he should be able to control the damage. We aim for a place in the top 10 of GC. The stages to La Redoute and Geraardsbergen are very tough and there can be many changes to GC.”
Selection Lotto Belisol: Sander Cordeel, Jens Debusschere, Gert Dockx, André Greipel, Jürgen Roelandts, Jonas Van Genechten, Tim Wellens and Frederik Willems.
Sports directors: Herman Frison and Jean-Pierre Heynderickx
Stage 1: Monday 12th of August: Koksijde – Ardooie (175,3 km)
Stage 2: Tuesday 13th of August: Ardooie – Vorst (176,9 km)
Stage 3: Wednesday 14th of August: Oosterhout – Brouwersdam (187,3 km)
Stage 4: Thursday 15th of August: Essen – Vlijmen (169,6 km)
Stage 5: Friday 16th of August: Sittard-Geleen – Sittard-Geleen (13,2 km) (ITT)
Stage 6: Saturday 17th of August: Riemst – La Redoute (Aywaille) (150 km)
Stage 7: Sunday 18th of August: Tienen – Geraardsbergen (208 km)