Wanty-Groupe Gobert on Three parallel fronts
It is a busy week for our team. Until Sunday Wanty-Groupe Gobert will compete in three different stage races across Southern Europe and even Asia (with Tour of Oman).
On Wednesday the Vuelta a Andalucia takes place in Spain, better known as Ruta del Sol (2.HC – 15-19/02). Alejandro Valverde will take on his compatriot Alberto Contador over there. Except for the time trial on Friday the terrain is suited for the hill specialists. Wanty-Groupe Gobert will try to anticipate with Jérôme Baugnies and Xandro Meurisse.
At the same moment, the Tour of Algarve (2.HC – 15-19/02) debuts in Albufeira. The Portuguese stage race counts two stage for the sprinters. These should suit our fast men Andrea Pasqualon and Pieter Vanspeybrouck. Friday a time trial over 18km will deepen the differences in the overall standings. The final decision lies in the hilly stages on Thursday and Sunday. Something for our rider Thomas Degand?
Offredo: “In shape from opening week-end”
Yoann Offredo :
“I choose to ride Tour of Algarve because it can improve our group cohesion. In the classics team we are already able to communicate well with eachother. Tour of Algarve has two stages for the sprinters, the 1st and 4th stage. But there is still a risk of echelons since an east wind is announced for the whole week. We could play the Vanspeybrouck card because he is fast and already in good shape. The 2nd and 5th stages are dedicated to the climbers with finishes at two summits. However we can not stay in the grupetto. I said to my team mates it will be necessary to hang on as long as possible to improve our form for the spring classics.”
“I hope to be in good form from the opening weekend in Belgium, because it allows to take a psychological advantage on my opponents. But I can’t reach my top form yet, because the most important appointments are a month later!”