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Jelle Vanendert set to make his grand tour return in Spanish after being forced to miss the Tour while Van Den Broeck, Greipel and Roelandts will all forgo the final three-week race of the year

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ADAM HANSEN

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BART DE CLERCQ

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BRIAN BULGAC

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FRANCIS DE GREEF

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GREGORY HENDERSON

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JELLE VANENDERT

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JURGEN VAN DE WALLE

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MAARTEN NEYENS

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TOSH VAN DER SANDE

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VICENTE REYNES

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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08.08.2013 @ 10:38 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lotto-Belisol has only selected one of its 4 team captains in its pre-selection for the Vuelta which is headed by Jelle Vanendert, set to return to grand tour action after having lost out on Tour participation due to illness. The Belgian headlines a list of attackers while the other big names Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Andre Greipel and Jurgen Roelandts have all decided to skip the Spanish grand tour.

 

Stomach problems forced Jelle Vanendert to miss the Tour in which he was expected to be a key lieutenant for Jurgen Van Den Broeck but the Belgian has now overcome his troubles and has set his sights on the Vuelta. He returned to competitive action in the Tour de Wallonie, raced the Tour de Pologne last week and now headlines the Lotto-Belisol pre-selection for the Vuelta.

 

Vanendert rose to prominence in the 2011 Tour de France when he won a big mountain stage to Plateau de Beille and wore the polka-dot jersey for numerous days but had a disappointing performance in last year's Tour. He has specialized in the Ardennes classics but is now set to lead his team in a grand tour. He still hasn't decided whether he will focus on the GC or go for stage wins in select stages.

 

He can expect to get support in the mountains from Francis De Greef and Bart De Clercq who have both been included in the pre-selection. Both have finished in the top 20 in previous grand tours and could both race the Vuelta on the back of previous grand tour showing this season. De Greef was the team's GC captain in the Giro in which he finished 21st while De Clercq rode a very strong Tour de France and finished 11th on the Mont Ventoux.

 

The pre-selection also contains a number of fast riders that could give the team some options in the sprints. Usual lead-out man Greg Henderson could get a rare chance to chase personal success while Vicente Reynes, Dennis Vanendert and Tosh Van Der Sande also know how to mix it up in a bunch sprint.

 

Adam Hansen is also included in the pre-selection and has an almost guaranteed spot. The Australian completed all three grand tours last year and hopes to do the same again this season. He won a stage in the Giro and hopes to do the same in Spain.

 

The pre-selection is completed  by allrounders Dirk Bellemakers, Gaetan Bille, Brian Bulgac, Maartens Neyens and Jurgen Van De Walle who could all chase personal success in select stages while also working for the captains.

 

The team's three remaining captains Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Andre Greipel and Jurgen Roelandts will not race the Vuelta. The former crashed out of the Tour and won't make his comeback until next season. Greipel usually finishes his season with the many sprint-friendly one-day races and hasn't been attracted by the mountainous route of the Vuelta while Roelandts has also decided to focus on his specialty: the one-day races.

 

The Vuelta starts on August 24 with a team time trial in Galicia.

 

Lotto-Belisol pre-selection for the Vuelta a Espana

Jelle Vanendert, Bart De Clercq, Francis De Greef, Dennis Vanendert, Greg Henderson, Tosh Van Der Sande, Vicente Reynes, Adam Hansen, Dirk Bellemakers, Gaetan Bille, Brian Bulgac, Maartens Neyens and Jurgen Van De Walle

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