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"With Jens Debusschere we've got the last winner and the reigning Belgian champion in our team. But Jonas Vangenechten also proved to be in good shape the last few months."

Photo: Vincent Calu/Photonews

JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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JONAS VANGENECHTEN

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KENNY DE HAES

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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SANDER ARMEE

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SEAN DE BIE

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TOUR DE L'EUROMÉTROPOLE

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VEGARD BREEN

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01.10.2014 @ 16:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

One year ago Jens Debusschere took a breakthrough overall victory in the final European stage race of the year, Tour de l'Eurometropole. This year the Belgian will be back to defend his title with the Belgian Drikleur on his shoulders.

 

The Eurometropole Tour (Franco-Belge in the past) is the last stage race on Belgian soil of this season. The four-day stage race (Europe Tour 2.1) starts on Thursday and goes through the provinces of Hainaut and West Flanders.

 

Several sprinters are starting the Eurometropole. Kittel, Démare, Nizzolo and Bos are some of the sprinters that will be striving in the last straight metres tothe finish line. It looks like the fast riders will be contending for the yellow leader's jersey.

 

The first two stages are going through the Flemish Ardennes and the Heuvelland respectively, but the hilly sections are far from the finish line so the possible decimation could be undone or the escapees could be controlled. The finish of the first stage is slightly uphill in Bellegem, a village in the municipal of Kortrijk.

 

"Lotto Belisol won the past two editions with Jens Debusschere (2013) and Jürgen Roelandts (2012)," Sports director Kurt Van de Wouwer said. "Obviously we are also going to take our responsibility this year.

 

"I'm expecting that the opening stage will decisive for the GC. The first stage won't be controlled by one team and will be more open. From day two the race will be controlled by the team of the leader and they will try to keep the leader's jersey until Sunday.

 

"The route is orientated towards the coast, with finishes in Middelkerke and Nieuwpoort. Naturally there will be a lot of sprints and maybe the wind could play a big role. With Jens Debusschere we've got the last winner and the reigning Belgian champion in our team. But Jonas Vangenechten also proved to be in good shape the last few months."

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