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“At LottoNL-Jumbo, I will have the same program as Robert Gesink. I will try to help him to reach his goals: small and big stage races. The first peak will be in the Tirreno, then the Walloon classics and if that goes well, the intent...

Photo: OPQS / Tim De Waele








17.01.2015 @ 14:44 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

At the LottoNL-Jumbo presentation, Kevin De Weert, Tom Van Asbroeck and Maarten Wynants announced their goals for the upcoming season. De Weert wants to find back to his former level, van Asbroeck wants to grow and Wynants again wants to assist the leaders as well as possible.


After a few years at the Etixx-Quick Step team, Kevin de Weert will return to the Netherlands after he rode for Rabobank in 2003 and 2004, the team that has later evolved into LottoNL-Jumbo. “Here I have been reunited with my former team leader Nico Verhoeven with whom I have always worked well together and who can bring the best out of me,” he told Sporza.


“I also find a lot of well-known faces in the staff. The riders are new but we know each other from the peloton. After 8 years at Patrick Lefevere’s team (interspersed with two years at Cofidis, ed.), it does not feel like a new team, more like a new wind with a different training method and a different approach.


“I had eight good years with Lefevere. It was not my choice to leave, I had to. Quick Step has so mange good riders that it was difficult to have my former role. It is a great team. If you are out for a long time due to injury, other riders take your place. I can’t blame anyone for that,” he said, referring to the injuries he sustained in a horrific crash at the 2013 Vuelta a Espana.


“Moreover, I have always said that I would like to ride under Verhoven’s guidance again. I don’t have 10 years left of my career so maybe it was to right time for me and Patrick to go separate ways. I hope to be continuing for at least another four years. Then we’ll see.”


After his bad crash in the Vuelta, De Weert went through a long recovery. He returned to the peloton in the end of March.


“At LottoNL-Jumbo, I will have the same program as Robert Gesink. I will try to help him to reach his goals: small and big stage races. The first peak will be in the Tirreno, then the Walloon classics and if that goes well, the intention is to go to the Tour.


“Whether I still have any personal ambitions? I know what I can do and what I can’t do. I have enough motivation when I work for others. If I can do my job in the race and I am appreciated for that, I will also do my training in the rain and the wind. I have a good feeling about it.”


Last year Tom van Asbroeck won the individual rankings of the UCI Europe Tour. That earned him the chance to move from Topsport Vlaanderen to LottoNL-Jumbo. “Here I want to make further progress and win more races,” the 24-year-old sprinter who won two races and finished on the podium 15 times in 2014, told Sporza.


"I'm hungry. Everything here is new. That motivates me a lot. I would like to prove myself in a WorldTour team and now I get that chance. This is a big step forward. The guidance and the equipment are both slightly better. Those few percentages can make a difference.


“I think this team is the best choice for my future growth. In the next few years, I have a good place here. We’ll see what it brings. I am sure I will get my chance. Maybe even more than in any other team.


“In the classics, you know that there is only one leader in Sep Vanmarcke. That’s normal, he has already proved a few things. But that does not mean that I will not get my opportunities.


“I also expect to have a beautiful cooperation with Moreno Hofland: to alternate between the two of us. That will make both of us stronger and hopefully we will get more wins.”


Van Asbroeck will start his season on February 18 at the Volta ao Algarve. “This will be a first test. We’ll see what happens. If it goes well, we may even take a prize along the way,” the young father said. “My role as father is going very well. We can’t really complain. We have a very nice daughter. It’s a special feeling to be a father and it’s definitely an extra motivation to take a step up.”


32-year-old Maarten Wynants goes into his fifth season in the Dutch team. He is appreciated for his work for the team leaders in the classics and the stage races. “This role suits me the most and I want to perform as well as possible in 2015,” he said.


“In every race, I want to help the team leader for as long as possible. In the spring, it will be for Sep and if I ride the Tour, it will be for Wilco Kelderman and Robert Gesink.


“But to play a role deep into the finale of Paris-Roubaix would also be nice. Like Johan Vansummeren (who won the race in 2011, ed.). That’s on my mind. I’ve been in the top 10 once. Last year I was on Niki Terpstra’s wheel in the finale but then I broke my saddle. If that hadn’t happened, I would have been close to a top result.”


For a while, Wynants was the only Belgian in the team but then Vanmarcke signed and now De Weert and Van Asbroeck have also joined the team. “That’s pretty funny. We’re still the same team but a few extra Belgians are a bonus. Slowly, we will take over the team,” he laughed.



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