What's Cool In Road Cycling

Lotto Belisol: Preview Giro: Sports director Bart Leysen

In this fourth part of our Giro preview, sports director Bart Leysen tells about the goals of Lotto Belisol and gives his opinion about the route. Winning a stage is the first aim, just like getting a good overall classification with Francis De Greef. Kenny Dehaes has to represent the team in the sprint.

Bart Leysen, sports director: “Our first goal is to win a stage during these three weeks. Lars Bak and Gert Dockx will definitely go along in the attacks. Also Adam Hansen is able to pick out the right escape. Of course it doesn’t succeed each year, maybe only one or two times in a cyclist’s career.”

“For the sprint Kenny Dehaes is our man, he has proved a few times he can surprise, so why wouldn’t that be possible in the Giro? With Bak, Dockx, Hansen and Reynes we have a team that knows how to bring a sprinter to the finish. It’s not the same train as for the Tour, but we have to make sure Kenny is in the right wheel, like that of Mark Cavendish. We have the right men for the job, they’re happy to assist Kenny. Last year we didn’t have a fast man with us and we couldn’t play a role in the flat stages, that will be different now.”

“Francis De Greef is our man for the GC. We have given him the chance to optimally prepare himself for the Giro, it’s now up to him. A top fifteen or top twenty should be possible, otherwise it would be disappointing. He has got a better preparation than in 2012, participated in less races and did training camps.”

“The start of this Giro seems pretty easy, although in that first week there’s a stage like the final stage in the Tirreno. Differences will be made there already because the roads are pretty narrow and the road goes up and down. But the toughest part are the last eight days, starting with the stage to the Galibier. Saturday 25th of May is the last hard stage, very long and with five cols, there will definitely be changes to the GC that day.”

“Francis has to attack in one of the mountain stages. There’s always the chance that you get set back, but you have to take the risk. It’s best he goes along in an escape to anticipate on the opponents for the places between five and fifteen. The team time trial is pretty short, I don’t expect too much time differences. As a team we should minimum finish halfway the classification. The first individual time trial isn’t a tough one, but is long. Bradley Wiggins will be the man to beat and then we’ll know how good he is.”

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