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“Last year was the first time I rode such a long race and I liked it. This year I’ll start with a different feeling, but that doesn’t mean I am more nervous. I start with lots of confidence."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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JASPER DE BUYST

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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PIM LIGTHART

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RONDE VAN VLAANDEREN

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SEAN DE BIE

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TIESJ BENOOT

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30.03.2016 @ 22:09 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In a week marked by several tragic events, the peloton is preparing itself for the Ronde Van Vlaanderen. The 100th edition of the most important Belgian race will take place on Sunday 3 April.

 

 

Lotto Soudal really looks forward to this Spring Classic. The team will start with riders such as Tiesj Benoot, Jürgen Roelandts and André Greipel.

 

Today Tiesj Benoot and Jürgen Roelandts did a recon of the Ronde van Vlaanderen.

 

“Tiesj and I did a recon of the Ronde van Vlaanderen," Roelandts said. "It’s always good to take a thorough look at the course a few days before the race, for example to have a better idea of the wind direction. It’s also good to do a recon on Wednesday in between Ghent-Wevelgem and Ronde van Vlaanderen.

 

"I felt very well in Milan-Sanremo, but last Friday at E3 Harelbeke I got pain in the back and couldn’t continue the race unfortunately. Saturday I felt sick. On Sunday I still had some problems, but I managed to finish seventh, so the condition hasn’t disappeared. In the meantime I’m feeling much better.

 

“The course of the Ronde has slightly changed. Before we get to the Molenberg we have to ride over some narrower roads with lots of turns, so it will be harder to control the race at that point. It’s still early in the race then, but it will make riders tired. For me that’s a good thing.

 

"The big favourites are known: Cancellara, Sagan and Van Avermaet. I don’t have any specific allies in mind, but maybe I will get some during the race. I certainly will have Tiesj by my side. It’s a pity Jens Debusschere won’t be able to ride on Sunday because of his injury. He has never been in such a good shape before the Ronde than this season.”

 

Last year Tiesj Benoot, a neo-pro of 21 years at that time, finished fifth in his first Ronde van Vlaanderen.

 

He said: “Last year was the first time I rode such a long race and I liked it. This year I’ll start with a different feeling, but that doesn’t mean I am more nervous. I start with lots of confidence. In the past three races (Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke and Ghent-Wevelgem, ed.) I always rode the finale. That proves the condition is good. The Ronde van Vlaanderen is a race that suits me. Because of the distance and the hard route only the strong survive. You know much can and will happen during the race, although you never know when. It’s all about choosing the right moment, but I won’t tell my plans.”

 

Sports director Herman Frison added: "Due to injuries of among other Jens Debusschere and Jelle Wallays we had to change our team roster for the Ronde. Our leaders Jürgen Roelandts and Tiesj Benoot are in excellent shape, that’s a fact. Today the two of them did a recon of the Ronde. The other guys from the selection for Sunday are all part of the team at the Three Days of De Panne and will be ready, I am convinced of that. Look at Pim Ligthart who attacked today or Sean De Bie.”

 

Line-up Lotto Soudal: 

Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Sean De Bie, Jasper De Buyst, André Greipel, Pim Ligthart, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg.

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