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“André Greipel will race the first time on WorldTour level in Paris-Nice. The Tour remains obviously the main goal, but just as in 2015 he will ride the Giro."

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ADAM HANSEN

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ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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GREGORY HENDERSON

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JELLE WALLAYS

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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RAFAEL VALLS

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TIESJ BENOOT

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TIM WELLENS

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TONY GALLOPIN

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14.12.2015 @ 19:40 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Within one month, the 2016 cycling season takes off. The national championships of Australia and New-Zealand on January 10 are the first races on the calendar. Currently, the riders are fine tuning their form in sunnier places. In January, Lotto Soudal has another team training camp scheduled before the riders start their season.

 

For the Belgian team, the beginning of the season remains mainly the same as last year, just the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will be added to the programme.Tthis race takes place right after the Tour Down Under.

 

On January 17, the Lotto Soudal team will startits season with the criterium in Adelaide, ‘The People’s Choice Classic’. Two days after that, the Tour Down Under starts; the first WorldTour race of the year. This six-day event takes place in Australia and in this race, the riders can take their first WorldTour points. Lotto Soudal has already made the team selection. These riders will start at the Tour Down Under: Lars Bak, Thomas De Gendt, Gert Dockx, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Pim Ligthart and Rafael Valls. After this race, the riders will race the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. At the end of January, it’s time to race four days on Mallorca, during the Mallorca Challenge.

 

During the first week of February, the riders head to France for the GP La Marseillaise and Etoile de Bessegés. This stage race starts on 2/2 and ends on 7/2. After that, the riders have to wait until the Volta ao Algarve and the Ruta del Sol; both starting on 17/2 and ending on 21/2.

 

The Flemish cycling season starts as usual with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday 27/2. One day later, you can watch the riders at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne; in 2016 this race has been granted category 1.HC for the first time in its existence.

 

The training camp is also the ideal moment to further discuss the race programmes for 2016. Manager Marc Sergeant chooses to follow the same path as in 2015.

 

“In January and February, there aren’t any big changes to our programme," he said. "We go to Down Under with Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson, who are both very motivated to perform well on their continent. And with Rafael Valls, we have a rider in the team who has top ten ambitions. Later in the year, Valls will get his chance in the stage races of one week, like Tirreno-Adriatico, Volta a Catalunya, Tour de Romandie and the Giro.

 

"Also in Paris-Nice we will start with a very competitive team, with Tony Gallopin who will get his chance on home soil. Gallopin will work towards the Ardennes Classics via the Vuelta al País Vasco. In comparison with last year, he will also ride the Flèche Wallonne.

 

“Tim Wellens will ride Paris-Nice before the Vuelta al País Vasco, then the Walloon classics and the Giro. This combination worked fluently two years ago. His unfortunate Tour of 2015 helped to make the decision to return to the recipe of the year before. In his ambition to go to the Olympic Games, he can build up towards the second part of the season in June and July.

 

“André Greipel will race the first time on WorldTour level in Paris-Nice. The Tour remains obviously the main goal, but just as in 2015 he will ride the Giro.

 

"For the Flemish classics we are well armed with Jürgen Roelandts, Tiesj Benoot, Jens Debusschere and Jelle Wallays. They are the core to try to take another step forward after 2015.

 

"And Adam Hansen? He will race in May in Italy, in July in France and in September in Spain (laughs). At least without any accidents!”

 

Further information about the race programme of Lotto Soudal and the Lotto Soudal riders follows in the next weeks.

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