Lotto Belisol: Preview Tour of Belgium with André Greipel and Jürgen Roelandts
Tomorrow (Wednesday) the Tour of Belgium starts, which ends on Sunday 26th of May. In this race, part of the Europe Tour, we will use the new Lotto Belisol team bus for the first time. André Greipel and Jürgen Roelandts are two of the riders that will be drove around in this bus. They are the two leaders of the team the next five days. The first stage between Lochristi and Knokke-Heist is cut out for sprinters, André’s train already rehearsed in the Tour de Picardie and will now have to lead the Gorilla to the victory. Last year Greipel won three stages in this race.
Thursday the Tour of Belgium will go through the Flemish Ardennes, the finish is in Meerbeke, where the Tour of Flanders arrived up till two years ago. The Congoberg and Bosberg will each have to be climbed twice. In this stage Jürgen Roelandts will definitely play a role, he also aims for a good place in GC. Friday a time trial of 15 kilometers is programmed. Then two stages in the Ardennes will follow. Tony Martin, last year’s overall winner, will start. Just like Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara and Philippe Gilbert.
André Greipel: “It’s important to ride here in the Tour of Belgium with the guys from my train. In the first stage I aim for the victory. I expect a hectic final, but I have the best riders with me. The days afterwards we’ll see what comes. In the other stages I’ll definitely support Jürgen Roelandts where I can, what my role will exactly be depends on the development of the race. I might set the sprint up for him at the intermediate sprints to pick up some bonification seconds. Jürgen has proven he’s good on small climbs, so the course suits him.”
Jürgen Roelandts: “In the Tour de Picardie I came back after a period of rest, that turned out well. In the first stage of the Tour of Belgium we fully aim for a win with André. Just like the rest of our team, also André is good uphill, that will be handy on the small climbs here. What concerns the GC it will be waiting for the time trial on Friday. Sunday the race will of course be torn apart, but you won’t get rid of someone like Fabian Cancellara. We’ll see where we end up.”
Selection Lotto Belisol: Jens Debusschere, André Greipel, Greg Henderson, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Jurgen Van de Walle, Dennis Vanendert and Jelle Vanendert.
Sports directors: Herman Frison and Jean-Pierre Heynderickx
Stage 1: Wednesday 22nd of May: Lochristi – Knokke-Heist (194,2 km)
Stage 2: Thursday 23rd of May: Knokke-Heist – Ninove (178,8 km)
Stage 3: Friday 24th of May: Beveren – Beveren (ITT) (15 km)
Stage 4: Saturday 25th of May: Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure – Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure (164,3 km)
Stage 5: Sunday 26th of May: Banneux – Banneux (175,6 km)