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 “Sean De Bie will get a free role in the first stage. If a bunch sprint takes place, we have André Greipel. Also in the next two stages we can go for a sprint with André."

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ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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CLASSIC BRUGGE-DE PANNE

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JASPER DE BUYST

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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PIM LIGTHART

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SEAN DE BIE

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28.03.2016 @ 22:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lotto Soudal have announced their line-up for the Driedaagse van De Panne.

 

 

Sports director Frederik Willems said: “This race is of a higher and more international level than the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen for instance. The participants of this race all have a busy schedule in this period of the season. Some riders consider this race as their final preparation for the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, others will start with the ambition to win this race. As usual, it will be a tough and nervous race.

 

 

“The finale of the first stage is a bit different compared to last year. The Muur van Geraardsbergen needs to be climbed two times and that will definitely determine the race. The Classics riders will certainly show themselves during this stage. Normally, stage two will end with a bunch sprint. But sometimes the wind can play an important role so there’s a chance echelons will be formed. The morning stage on the final day is always a nervous affair. If you’re not attentive, you can lose this race here. It’s also an important stage with the time trial in mind. Fourteen kilometres is a good distance to gain some positions on GC.

 

 “Sean De Bie will get a free role in the first stage. If a bunch sprint takes place, we have André Greipel. Also in the next two stages we can go for a sprint with André. Lars Bak and Sean De Bie are two guys who can ride a decent time trial. Whether we’re aiming for a good position on GC will depend on the first stage. After that it will depend on how the race evolves.”

 

Lotto Soudal will start with riders such as André Greipel and Sean De Bie. Last year, Sean De Bie was fourth in the first stage and he finished fifth on GC. This time he’ll try again to obtain a nice result.

 

“The previous races were very tough," he said. During the E3 Harelbeke I didn’t have a great feeling but still I was able to do some useful work for the team. My general condition is better than last year, but I’m not in top shape yet. One race, I feel very well, the other I am less good. Sometimes that frustrates me a bit. I hope that I have the same feeling during this race as in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, where I took home the overall victory although this race is tougher compared to the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen.

 

"It’s a very nervous affair, splits can occur after every bend. You have to be attentive at the front all the time because echelons can be formed. It’s a real fight to maintain your good position at the front of the peloton and that’s not only tiring physically, also mentally it’s tough. The Muur van Geraardsbergen needs to be climbed this year, that’s a hill which suits me. There will certainly be attempts and then you need to react. I see the first two stages as Classics because the scenario is very similar to such races.

 

“Also the closing time trial is something I like, although I prefer to ride a prologue. But it’s a tortuous course and there are a lot of pace changes, that suits me. This winter we optimized my position on the time trial bike. The past few days I rested well, that’s very important during such period. I aim for a good result in this race with regard to the Ronde Van Vlaanderen. I really look forward to it.”

 

Selection Lotto Soudal:

Lars Bak, Sean De Bie, Jasper De Buyst, Frederik Frison, André Greipel and Pim Ligthart.

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