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Lotto Belisol: Sports director Mario Aerts comments on Vuelta selection

On Saturday 24 August the Tour of Spain takes off with a team time trial in Vilanova de Arousa. The riders have to bridge more than 3319km in 21 stages. The Vuelta finishes on Saturday 15 September in Madrid. Sports director Mario Aerts explains the goals of Lotto Belisol and the specific roles of the riders:

Mario Aerts: “Our two main men for the Vuelta are Jelle Vanendert and Bart De Clercq. It’s the ambition of Bart to go for a good ranking in the GC and if possible to try to win a stage. After he achieved very good results in the Tour the France it was important for him to rest as much as possible. He participated in the Belgian National Time Trial Championships but as for the rest he didn’t train too intense. Because the last week of the Vuelta is the hardest, it’s not yet necessary to be a hundred percent in good shape at the start. He hopes for a result within the top fifteen of the GC. Jelle on the contrary will have to wait and see how he’s feeling after a few days. In the Tour of Poland and the Tour of Wallonia he proved that his condition is getting better after his stomach problems a few months ago. He will certainly try to win a stage and if this enables him to climb in the GC, the GC will become his priority.”

“Because there are thirteen mountain stages and because the riders have to finish eleven times uphill the course is ideal for real climbers. Tosh Van der Sande, Dennis Vanendert, Jurgen Van De Walle, Adam Hansen and Francis De Greef are the riders who can help Jelle and Bart during the stages in mountain regions. They will also try to go with a breakaway and compete for a stage win if the escapees last until the finish line. Adam Hansen already won a stage in the Giro d’Italia and last year he showed to be in good shape during the Vuelta so he’s definately capable to bring an attack to a succesful conclusion.”

“Considering the specific climbing course it’s not likely that there will be a lot of bunch sprints. There are maybe six stages wich can possibly result in a sprint. Nevertheless there won’t be a lot a sprinters participating in the Vuelta which reduces the chances on a bunch sprint. If this were to happen we have Greg Henderson and Vicente Reynes who can play an important role. Furthermore there’s a team time trial of 27km and an individual time trial of 38km in which we will try to set good results.”

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