Lotto Belisol: Preview Eurometropole Tour
The Eurometropole Tour (Franco-Belge in the past) is the last stage race on Belgian soil of this season. The four day stage race (Europe Tour 2.1) starts on Thursday and goes through the provinces of Hainaut and West Flanders.
Several sprinters are starting the Eurometropole. Kittel, Démare, Nizzolo and Bos are some of the sprinters that will be striving in the last straight hectometers towards the finish line. It looks like the fast riders will be contending for the yellow leader jersey. The first two stages are going respectively through the Flemish Ardennes and the Heuvelland, but the hilly sections are far away from the finish line so the possible decimation could be undone or the escapees could be controlled. The finish of the first stage is slightly uphill in Bellegem, a village in the municipal of Kortrijk.
Sports director Kurt Van de Wouwer: “Lotto Belisol won the past two editions with Jens Debusschere (2013) and Jürgen Roelandts (2012). Obviously we are also going to take our responsibility this year. I’m expecting that the opening stage will decisive for the GC. The first stage won’t be controlled by one team and will be more open. From day two the race will be controlled by the team of leader and they will try to keep the leader jersey until Sunday. The route is orientated towards the coast, with finishes in Middelkerke and Nieuwpoort. Naturally there will be a lot of sprints and maybe the wind could play a big role. With Jens Debusschere we’ve got the last winner and the reigning Belgian champion in our team. Although Jonas Van Genechten proved to be in good shape the last few months.”
Lotto Belisol selection
Sander Armée, Tiesj Benoot, Vegard Breen, Sean De Bie, Jens Debusschere, Kenny Dehaes, Xandro Meurisse, Jonas Van Genechten.
Sports directors: Kurt Van de Wouwer and Marc Wauters
Thursday 2nd of October: La Louvière – Kortrijk: 185.8 km
Friday 3rd of October: Estaimbourg – Nieuwpoort: 174 km
Saturday 4th of October: Blankenberge – Middelkerke: 174.7 km
Sunday 5th of October: Mons – Tournai: 155km