Lotto Belisol: Team active in three races
Today Lotto Belisol was active in three races and ended up with two second places. In an exciting sprint at the Trofeo Palma, part of the Challenge Mallorca, Jens Debusschere missed the victory with only a few millimeters. Jürgen Roelandts became second in the first stage of the Tour of Qatar. Finally there was the time trial which closed the Etoile de Bessèges. Tony Gallopin finished 7th at 27″ of stage and overall winner Tobias Ludvigsson.
Two times second
The Trofeo Palma consists of ten laps of 11,6 kilometers in Palma. There was a break of five, but they never got more than a one minute lead. A bunch sprint decided about the victory. It was a very close finish between the first three riders. Sacha Modolo was the winner, he crossed the finish line before Lotto Belisol rider Jens Debusschere and Dylan Groenewegen. A bit later also Jürgen Roelandts became second. In the final of the first stage in the Tour of Qatar he got ahead with Elmiger, Schär, Terpstra and his teammate Van Keirsbulck. They defended half a minute lead and sprinted for the stage win. Terpstra won before Roelandts.
Jens Debusschere: “I was close to the victory today. Unfortunately I didn’t make it. It was a quiet day for us in the peloton, Lampre controlled the distance between the bunch and the break. The guys, with Stig Broeckx as penultimate man and Kenny Dehaes as last man, brought me in a good position for the sprint. I had to wait a bit because Gianni Meersman passed. Then Sacha Modolo had gotten ahead and I couldn’t get in front of him anymore. My results at the end of last season gave me much confidence, that’s why I worked more on my sprint this winter than previous years. I’m now better than in 2013 in the same time of the year.”
Gallopin 7th at Bessèges
Finally the Etoile de Bessèges was closed today with a time trial of 10,7 kilometers. The last 1,7 kilometers were uphill. Tony Gallopin became seventh in the stage and GC. He follows at 23″ of overall winner Tobias Ludvigsson. Maxime Monfort is 12th in GC at 39″. Sports director Jean-Pierre Heynderickx looks back on this five days race.
Jean-Pierre Heynderickx, sports director: “When Maxime Monfort and Tony Gallopin had to ride their time trial, the wind had turned since the reconnaissance. They should have rode the time trial differently and should have been faster in the beginning to set a better time. The results aren’t what we had hoped for, today we wanted to finish in top five, but the condition of the riders is okay. We didn’t have a pure sprinter to battle for stage wins. Gallopin got beaten yesterday by Bryan Coquard and John Degenkolb, the finish wasn’t tough enough for him. But it looks good for the upcoming races.”
“Our youngsters – De Bie, Breen and Vallée – have ridden a good Etoile de Bessèges. Vallée set a good time today, the wind hadn’t turned yet when he rode. Our neo-pros showed that they want to work for the team. Tony Gallopin and Maxime Monfort are very satisfied with that, they also take care of the young riders.”