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"Kris Boeckmans won two stages and the overall classification. He and Jens Debusschere are our sprinters for this weekend. We will decide during the race which of the two will do the sprint."

Photo: ANSA / DAL ZENNARO - PERI

JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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KENNY DE HAES

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KRIS BOECKMANS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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THOMAS DE GENDT

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TIESJ BENOOT

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WORLD PORTS CLASSIC

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22.05.2015 @ 11:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

This weekend, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May, the World Ports Classic is scheduled on the Europe Tour calendar. It’s only the fourth edition of this race between the harbours of Rotterdam and Antwerp.

 

On Saturday the riders leave around noon in Rotterdam for a 195 kilometres long ride to Antwerp. The course is completely flat and takes the riders over the Eastern Schelde and through the province of Zeeland. The last 24.5 kilometres the race takes place in Belgium. The next day the caravan heads back to Rotterdam, via a different route. The second stage is 164 kilometres long. After fifty kilometres the riders leave Belgium.

 

At Lotto Soudal Kris Boeckmans and Jens Debusschere are the sprinters who will take on among other Theo Bos, Nacer Bouhanni, Andrea Guardini and Marcel Kittel. Tiesj Benoot and Jürgen Roelandts are two other names in the Lotto Soudal selection.

 

“Riders like Benoot and Debusschere, who took some rest after the classic races, returned to competition in the Tour de Picardie," sports director Herman Frison said. "The whole team performed very strongly there. Kris Boeckmans won two stages and the overall classification. He and Jens Debusschere are our sprinters for this weekend. We will decide during the race which of the two will do the sprint. We aim for a stage win. All that’s extra is of course welcome. The GC always comes down to seconds in that race.

 

“The first seventy kilometres of the first stage are the last seventy of the second stage of the Tour de France. It will be good to take a look at that course. How are the roads? That’s important to know. There is danger for echelons in that area. The peloton can split at any moment. When you race in the Netherlands you have to be attentive all the time. We won’t put all on a bunch sprint, we want to ride aggressively. There will definitely be opportunities to try something.”

 

“As expected I wasn’t top yet in the Tour de Picardie, because I hadn’t taken part in any races for a few weeks since the end of the classic spring," Debusschere said. "Kris Boeckmans rode well and soon we decided he would do the sprint the first day, the rest is history. I felt better day after day in the race. Also this week I felt more fresh every day. Today I did a training behind the scooter. I expect this weekend I will do much better in the race. We’ll see if it will be good enough to play a role.

 

“I don’t think we’ll get two real bunch sprints, there is a big chance of echelons. Kris Boeckmans rides the World Ports Classic as well. During the stage we’ll decide who will sprint. I’ll be honest and tell it when I’m not good enough to sprint. Otherwise I’m happy to take my chance. Next week it’s the Tour of Belgium, that’s a goal of mine. I hope I can mingle in the sprints there. I’m pretty sure that will be the case if all runs smoothly this weekend and I can rest on Monday and Tuesday.”

 

Selection Lotto Soudal: 

Tiesj Benoot, Kris Boeckmans, Jens Debusschere, Thomas De Gendt, Kenny Dehaes, Gert Dockx, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg.

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