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"We have a few fast men in the team, like Kenny Dehaes. They can definitely take their place in a bunch sprint. Also Pim Ligthart gets an important role in our team," Leysen says

Photo: Sirotti

CLASSIC BRUGGE-DE PANNE

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FREDERIK WILLEMS

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JONAS VANGENECHTEN

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KENNY DE HAES

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KRIS BOECKMANS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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PIM LIGTHART

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SEAN DE BIE

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VEGARD BREEN

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01.04.2014 @ 13:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lotto Belisol had planned to go for stage wins with André Greipel in the Three Days of De Panne which starts today. With the German out due to a broken collarbone, the team will change its focus and try to bring Kenny Dehaes to the fore in the bunch sprints.

 

It's an annual tradition that the Three Days of De Panne – Koksijde takes place in the week before the Tour of Flanders. On Tuesday the 1st of April the riders will start in De Panne to finish the Three Days on Thursday the 3rd of April in the afternoon with an individual time trial. After his crash in Ghent-Wevelgem André Greipel won't start. Nobody will replace him in the selection.
 
The first stage takes the peloton from De Panne to Zottegem. The riders have to get over among other the Leberg and Eikenmolen. Once arrived in Zottegem they will have to cover two laps of about 41 kilometers in the Flemish Ardennes. A day later the East-Flemish city Zottegem is the start place and via Heuvelland it goes to the finish in Koksijde.
 
On the last day two stages are planned. First a short morning stage with start and finish in De Panne. In the afternoon there's an individual time trial of over fourteen kilometers.
 
"With what ambition we go to De Panne? We have a few fast men in the team, like Kenny Dehaes," sports director Bart Leysen said. "They can definitely take their place in a bunch sprint. Also Pim Ligthart gets an important role in our team.
 
"If he could join a break which makes it to the finish line in the first stage, he has a chance to win. That way he could lay the groundwork for the GC as well.
 
"When we race along the coast we know beforehand that there's a big chance for echelons. When there's a tailwind we have to see we are positioned well in the front and are part of the first group otherwise we have to chase.
 
"There are many top sprinters at the start this year. It's easier for us that some teams have a sprinter. That way we can control the race together with other teams and that way we don't have to carry the weight of the race on our own."
 
You can read our preview of the race here and follow our live coverage at 14.25 CEST on CyclingQuotes.com/live.
 
Selection Lotto Belisol: Kris Boeckmans, Vegard Breen, Sean De Bie, Kenny Dehaes, Pim Ligthart, Jonas Van Genechten and Frederik Willems.
 
Sports directors: Jean-Pierre Heynderickx and Bart Leysen.
 
Stages:
Stage 1: Tuesday 1st of April: De Panne – Zottegem (201km)
Stage 2: Wednesday 2nd of April: Zottegem – Koksijde (206km)
Stage 3a: Thursday 3rd of April: De Panne – De Panne (109,7km)
Stage 3b: Thursday 3rd of April : De Panne – De Panne (14,3km) (ITT)

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