Lotto Belisol: Preview Tour de San Luis
Next Monday six Lotto Belisol riders will stand at the start of the Tour de San Luis. This stage race of seven days takes place in the middle of Argentina. On day two there is a finish on Mirador del Potrero, a first category climb. Two days later the climb to Alto del Amago, also a mountain of first category, will decide about the stage win. After a time trial of 19,2 km there is one last tough stage to Mirador del Sol. In the other stages there are opportunities for sprinters.
Jurgen Van den Broeck is one of the Lotto Belisol riders in Argentina. A severe knee injury incurred in the Tour de France 2013 set him aside for the rest of the season. Now he can finally enter competition again. Sander Armée, who also had to quit the season after a crash last year, will make his début for the team.
The Tour de San Luis has a strong list of participants with among other climbers John Darwin Atapuma, Carlos Betancur, Vincenzo Nibali, Joaquim Rodriguez and Nairo Quintana. Mark Cavendish, Tyler Farrar and Peter Sagan are some of the fast guys. Lotto Belisol counts on the fast legs of Kenny Dehaes and Tosh Van der Sande. If you want to follow the adventures of our riders you have to take a time difference of four hours into account with Belgium. The finishes are expected between 21:00 and 22:00 CET, for the penultimate stage that is 20:30. The arrival of the last rider in the time trial is expected around twenty past ten.
Mario Aerts, sports director: “The Tour de San Luis is an ideal race to start the season, as a preparation for what has to come. But we won’t say no to a stage win or good GC. The race is very balanced with three uphill finishes, a time trial and three stages suited for sprinters.”
“Jurgen Van den Broeck enters back in competition after many months, so we have to wait and see where he stands. If he can aim for GC the team will support him. On the other hand there is Jelle Vanendert who also wants to set a good result in GC. For the flat stages we can count on Kenny Dehaes. He gets Tosh Van der Sande as last man. Depending on the race developments we may play the card of Tosh at a more sloping finish.”
Selection Lotto Belisol: Sander Armée, Kenny Dehaes, Jurgen Van den Broeck, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert and Frederik Willems.
Sports director: Mario Aerts
Stage 1: Monday 20th of January: San Luis – Villa Mercedes (164 km)
Stage 2: Tuesday 21st of January: La Punta – Mirador del Potrero (170,6 km)
Stage 3: Wednesday 22nd of January: Tilisarao – Juana Koslay (175,8 km)
Stage 4: Thursday 23rd of January: El Potrero de los Funes – Alto del Amago (168,7 km)
Stage 5: Friday 24th of January: San Luis – San Luis (19,2 km) (ITT)
Stage 6: Saturday 25th of January: Las Chacras – Merlo (Mirador del Sol) (184,4 km)
Stage 7: Sunday 26th of January: San Luis – Terrazas del Portezuelo (148,1 km)