Preview Tour de Picardie
From Friday 10th until Sunday 12th of May Lotto Belisol is participating in the Tour de Picardie. This is a stage race of the Europe Tour, in the north of France. All three stages could end with a sprint, although there are several small climbs on the course. The team is aiming for a stage win one of these three days. Jürgen Roelandts is back after a break following the classics season. In the sprints he’ll have to compete against the German sprinter Marcel Kittel. Arnaud Démare, who won the Four Days of Dunkerque, last week will be there too. Just like Bryan Coquard, Andrew Fenn and Kenny Van Hummel. Sports director Jean-Pierre Heynderickx gives his preview.
Jean-Pierre Heynderickx, sports director: “Our ambition is to win a stage. We go to Picardie with a big part of Greipel’s train, André won’t be there, but Jürgen Roelandts should be able to take over his role. Just like Roelandts also Greg Henderson is coming back in competition he hasn’t ridden any races since more than a month. It is a selective course, but those climbs shouldn’t be any problem for Roelandts.”
“Picardie actually is a preparation for the Tour of Belgium, for a big part it are the same riders like Jens Debusschere, Greg Henderson, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg. In Picardie they can rehearse. The opponents in the sprint will be guys like Kittel and Démare. They have done more competition recently and will probably set better results in stage one. Someone like Fréderique Robert should be able to join breakaways, then we are at ease in the peloton and you never know if an escape can make it to the finish line.”
Selection Lotto Belisol:
Sander Cordeel, Jens Debusschere, Greg Henderson, Maarten Neyens, Fréderique Robert, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Tosh Van der Sande.
Sports directors: Jean-Pierre Heynderickx and Kurt Van de Wouwer
Stages Tour de Picardie
Stage 1: Friday 10th of May : Guise – Flixecourt (190 km)
Stage 2 : Saturday 11th of May : Oisemont – Bailleul-sur-Thérain (171 km)
Stage 3: Sunday 12th of May: Nanteuil-le-Haudouin – Soissons (171 km).