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“Riders as Tiesj Benoot, Tony Gallopin and Tim Wellens are able to manage this succession of climbs. I’m expecting Tim to be the freshest of them all as he didn’t ride the Worlds last Sunday."

Photo: Patrick Beaudry

BART DE CLERCQ

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IL LOMBARDIA

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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LOUIS VERVAEKE

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MAXIME MONFORT

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SANDER ARMEE

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TIESJ BENOOT

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TIM WELLENS

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TONY GALLOPIN

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02.10.2015 @ 11:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The 109th edition of the Tour of Lombardy  is held on Sunday, 4th of October. This race covers 245 kilometres and brings this WorldTour season to an end.

 

The start will be held in Bergamo and the finish in Como, which is opposite of the last edition. After a year of absence, the steep Muro Di Sormano will once again be  included in the course, this time near the end, with only fifty kilometres to go. The finale will be characterized by the San Fermo della Battaglia, a 2.7 kilometre climb with the  steepest section being 20% just before the top. Once on top, the riders descend five kilometres to the finish. Also this year the riders will have to find their climbing legs to shine one last time.

 

Last year, the Irish Daniel Martin could just maintain his lead on the chasers, putting the race to his name. In the chasing group was Tim Wellens, who rode a very attacking race which resulted in fourth place. Whether Wellens can do better this year, we will see on Sunday. For him, motivation definitely isn’t an issue


“After my fourth place last year, I can leave for Lombardy with confidence," he said. "The course is changed, but the race itself will still decide whether it will be harder than last year or not.  The  fact that the climbs are closer to the finish could lead to an earlier finale . Attackers will get more opportunities to give it a go. As in the past editions, the Ghisallo will be the first climb where the favourites will show themselves. It’s a though climb followed by another short but steep climb. This will hurt the legs for a first time.


“After my victory in Montréal, I travelled to Richmond with the team to do the WC team time trial. After that, I took the first flight back to start the recuperation as quickly as possible. On Wednesday, I had the last intensive training for this Sunday.  I did need this time, it took me five days to fully recover from the jetlag.. I think this could be an advantage as opposed to the riders who did the Worlds last Sunday. Some riders can recover faster from a jetlag than others. Nibali for example was already capable of winning a race this Wednesday. Together with Rodriguez and Valverde, he’s my top favourite.


“I’m happy with my season. The victories in the Eneco Tour and Montréal have glorified my year. If I don’t put down a good result this Sunday I will be disappointed, but it won’t be a disaster. I’ll be at the start without too much stress. Personally, I want to play a role in the very final kilometres of the race. If this doesn’t work out, we still have two riders, Tiesj Benoot and Tony Gallopin, in the team who are capable of winning. I can return back home satisfied if we rode a good race with the team and took part in the battle for victory. I’m feeling good and motivated. Let’s hope we can finish this year with style .”

 

“The change of course is not a bad thing," sports director Bart Leysen said. "The past few years, we saw that the race was locked between the Madonna del Ghisallo and the final climbs. This year, the Ghisallo is located further on the course and after that  the different climbs follow quickly. The heaviness of the course isn’t changed. The climbs are the same as last year, but they are closer to the final. This will make sure that the race won’t stand still from the Ghisallo to the finish line. This course suits our riders better.


“Riders as Tiesj Benoot, Tony Gallopin and Tim Wellens are able to manage this succession of climbs. I’m expecting Tim to be the freshest of them all as he didn’t ride the Worlds last Sunday. After his win in Montréal, he could prepare himself quietly. Thanks to this victory, the pressure to perform is less. He already had a beautiful season and can start the race without too much pressure.

 

"Tiesj has a double feeling after the Worlds. He felt good but couldn’t show it due to a mechanical problem. He will be motivated and do everything he can to show how good he is.

 

"Also Tony is one of our riders who’s capable of putting down a good result. In Richmond, he was seventh and he showed that he’s in good shape. On this course, all three of them could make a shot. As usual, the Italians and Spaniards will be dangerous. On Sunday, we need to keep an eye on Valverde, Rodriguez and Nibali.”

 

Selection:

Sander Armée, Tiesj Benoot, Bart De Clercq, Gert Dockx, Tony Gallopin, Maxime Monfort, Louis Vervaeke, Tim Wellens.

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