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"Paris-Nice is an important goal for me this season. I have had a good preparation in the Etoile de Bessèges and Tour of Oman where I set a few good results. The course of Paris-Nice suits me. There is no long time trial or fini...

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JELLE VANENDERT

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KRIS BOECKMANS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MAXIME MONFORT

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PARIS - NICE

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PIM LIGTHART

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SANDER ARMEE

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TIM WELLENS

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TONY GALLOPIN

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08.03.2014 @ 09:05 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Lotto Belisol have several options for this year's Paris-Nice as the team lines up two puncheurs in Tony Gallopin and Maxime Monfort. With the course having no time trials or high summit finishes, the team hopes that their two captains can play a role in the GC while Jelle Vanendert will use the race to continue his preparation for the Ardennes classics and Kris Boeckmans will target the sprints.

 

This year's Paris-Nice has been described as an open and novel affair as the race has no time trial or major summit finishes, meaning that it suit aggressive, punchy, and fast riders. Lotto Belisol hope that this fact will play into their hands when they line up a versatile roster for the Race to the Sun.

 

The team has two cards two play in the battle for the final win. Maxime Monfort who has twice finished in the top 10, is well-suited to the short, punchy climbs that litter the course and he hopes to use the race to further his preparation for the Giro d'Italia.

 

"This year a big part of my focus lies on the Giro and Vuelta," he said. "Paris-Nice is a goal in this first part of the season. Then I'll further prepare myself on the Giro via the Vuelta al País Vasco and the Tour de Romandie. I won't participate in any of the Ardennes classics.
 
"I want to ride a good season. That means that I want to get results on my level. I won't put an exact place on it. In the Giro and Vuelta I strive for a good GC and I also want to perform well in a series of WorldTour races, one of those is Paris-Nice.
 
"I feel home at Lotto Belisol. After a long time I now ride again for a Belgian team and that has it benefits because I live in Belgium, but on the WorldTour level nationalities fade. For me it's more about the sportive challenge. I have a clear goal. For two of the Grand Tours the team relies on me to set a strong result. I have a protected role now."
 
The team's second option is Tony Gallopin whose fast sprint and climbing skills make him a perfect fit for this course. The Frenchman has done nothing to hide that he has been inspired by the design of this year's edition of his home race which is his first big target of the season.
 
"Paris-Nice is an important goal for me this season. I have had a good preparation in the Etoile de Bessèges and Tour of Oman where I set a few good results. The course of Paris-Nice suits me. There is no long time trial or finish in the high mountains. Some stages are made for punchers and I can possibly play a role in those.
 
"Nibali and Van Garderen do indeed have a chance to win, but because of this year's route it will be an open race with more contenders for the overall than usually. I expect a first selection in the stages on Wednesday and Friday. The stages next weekend will decide who gets the trophy. I want to show myself in the fourth and sixth stage. Friday evening I'll see where I stand and know if  a place in top ten is possible.
 
"On Monday we pass the area where I live, we'll even get at 15 kilometers of my home. Nice weather is predicted the next days. In that second stage the wind could otherwise play its role.
 
"Next to Maxime and I the team also brings Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens to Paris-Nice. We have many cards to play. The team has faith in me and gives me the space to optimally prepare myself in ideal circumstances for my goals. Paris-Nice is a first objective of me and I want to set a good result."
 
You can read our preview of the race here.
 
Lotto Belisol for Paris-Nice
Sander Armée, Lars Bak, Kris Boeckmans, Tony Gallopin, Pim Ligthart, Maxime Monfort, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.

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