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 "It was less than we had expected. We came to Andalucía in the hope to win at least one stage and to get a good GC with one of our climbers. On the last col in the queen stage it went a bit too fast for Bart De Clercq and...

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BART DE CLERCQ

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GREGORY HENDERSON

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JELLE VANENDERT

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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LOTTO-DSTNY

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MAXIME MONFORT

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TIM WELLENS

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24.02.2014 @ 13:03 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lotto Belisol had big hopes for the Vuelta a Andalusia but left the race empty-handed. With Maxime Monfort and Bart De Clercq unable to follow the best on the climbs and Jens Debusschere failing to take a sprint win, the only positive was the aggressive performance by young Tim Wellens.

 

With Maxime Monfort, Bart De Clercq, and Tim Wellens on the roster, Lotto Belisol had hoped to be in the mix for a good GC result in the Vuelta a Andalucia that ended yesterday. Things got off to a promising start when De Clercq did a surprising good prologue but from there things started to unravel.

 

In the next two mountain stages, none of the team's climbers could follow the best and in the end, the team had to be a content with 15th for De Clercq and 22nd for Monfort. Wellens quickly gave up on his GC aspirations and showed a battling attitude by joining breakaways in both the second and fourth stage.

 

With the GC ambitions crushed, the team focused on sprinter Jens Debusschere in the final two stages that both ended in bunch sprints but again there was little success. Debusschere could only manage 6th in stage 3 and in yesterday's final sprint, Debusschere and lead-out man Greg Henderson lost each other, with Henderson crossing the line in 12th. 

 

Sports director Jean-Pierre Heynderickx admitted to being disappointed with the outcome.

 

"It was less than we had expected," he said. "We came to Andalucía in the hope to win at least one stage and to get a good GC with one of our climbers. On the last col in the queen stage it went a bit too fast for Bart De Clercq and Maxime Monfort at the end. In stage three we hoped to win the stage with Jens Debusschere. But because everybody was still fresh at the end of the stage the chances for Jens reduced and so he missed the chance for a victory.

 

"Tim Wellens joined a breakaway twice. He carried out his tasks perfectly. His condition is improving every day. The comeback of Jelle Vanendert and Greg Henderson was a big question mark, but it was alright. For them it was mainly the purpose to get race rhythm, because it isn't self-evident to perform on the top level immediately if one's coming back after an injury. But now the Ruta del Sol is over, we have to focus on the next races. There are beautiful races to come in which we want to shine."

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