Preview Tour of Norway
While the Giro d’Italia runs at full speed another interesting race will take place in northern Europe. From May 17 till May 21 the Tour of Norway is scheduled. The seventh edition of the stage race will take the riders in five stages trough the southern part of Norway. Sprinters, punchers and climbers all get a chance. The five-day stage race is part of the UCI Europe Tour in the category 2.HC.
Lotto Soudal wants to conquer the Norwegian roads with Sander Armée, Kris Boeckmans, Tony Gallopin, James Callum Shaw, Tosh Van der Sande and Louis Vervaeke. Sports director Marc Wauters looks ahead to the race.
Sports director Marc Wauters: “There are some Lotto Soudal riders who will restart competition after a rest period, like Tony Gallopin, Kris Boeckmans and Louis Vervaeke. At training they are giving excellent signs but in competition it’s still different. I see several opportunities for Gallopin. That doesn’t mean that he is our only leader. All riders are getting carte blanche.”
“Tosh Van der Sande and especially Sander Armée are in a really good shape. Hopefully that will give a boost to the other riders in the team. It’s just an absolute joy to watch Sander racing at the moment. I definitely believe that he can win a stage in Norway. Louis Vervaeke didn’t have a smooth spring, but now he can start the second part of his season.”
“It’s mainly an undulating course. I think that just a handful of seconds will decide the winner of the GC. The finales of the stages are on a local circuit and in that case there’s always more control over the race. In the first stages there are some hills, but these hills are no huge obstacles. The third day is a tough one. The riders will three times have to cover a climb of 2.5 kilometres with an average gradient of 9.3%. The next day is a big chance for sprinters like Van der Sande or Boeckmans. The last day is another hilly stage.”
“Attacking and showing ourselves is the main goal for the Tour of Norway. If we can celebrate our aggressive attitude with a victory or a nice GC I will go home with a satisfied feeling. We want to maintain the positive flow that Greipel started with his stage win in the Giro d’Italia.”
Line-up Lotto Soudal:
Sander Armée, Kris Boeckmans, Tony Gallopin, James Callum Shaw, Tosh Van der Sande and Louis Vervaeke.
Sports director: Marc Wauters.
Stage 1 Wednesday 17 May: Hønefoss – Asker (169,4 km)
Stage 2 Thursday 18 May: Eidsvoll – Brumunddal ( 194 km)
Stage 3 Friday 19 May: Hamar – Lillehammer ( 192 km)
Stage 4 Saturday 20 May: Lillestrøm – Sarpsborg ( 194 km)
Stage 5 Sunday 21 May: Moss – Oslo ( 155 km).