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"People expect that a sprinter who always won a stage the previous editions will do it this year as well. It’s not that easy, but we have a team to make it happen."

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ADAM HANSEN

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ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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GREGORY HENDERSON

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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THOMAS DE GENDT

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TIM WELLENS

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TONY GALLOPIN

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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02.07.2015 @ 21:15 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tonight the official team presentation of the 102nd Tour de France took place in Utrecht. The nine Lotto Soudal riders talked about their role and ambitions for this edition.

 

Lars Bak (35) – 5th Tour

“I’m starting my fifth Tour de France and it’s still something unique, even if you take part seven team times as Jens Voigt did I imagine. Just like last year my job starts at kilometer zero in the flat stages where I have to pull at the head of the peloton to chase down the breakaway. I’m going to the Tour to support André, but when you go to that race you dream of a stage win of course. We can ride aggressively now we don’t have a GC rider. For a rider like me there might be two to three chances to win, then you need to have good legs and be in the break. There are several riders in our team that want to join breakaways, we need to motivate each other and try to win as many stages as possible. I already won a stage in the Giro, so why wouldn’t it be possible in the Tour.”

 

Thomas De Gendt (28) – 3rd Tour

“This will be my third Tour. I’m really happy the team selected me. I specifically prepared for it and would have been disappointed if I couldn’t have come to Utrecht. I hope to show myself, like I already did a few times this year, but of course it’s the goal to get to the finish in a breakaway. Winning a stage would be a dream. But don’t win a stage wouldn’t be a drama. It would be fantastic to wear the polka-dot jersey during the Tour. I will also help the team in the sprint stages. I think it’s good we go to the Tour with a lot of riders that have a free role. That was the same at Vacansoleil and worked well. Riders motivate each other that way.”

 

Jens Debusschere (25) – 1st Tour

“Of course I’ll mostly work for André. I will take over the role of Jürgen Roelandts in the train. And if there are opportunities to try something myself, I’m keen of course. In the cobblestone stage I will probably get a free role. I know the cobblestone sections and probably I have more feeling with the cobbles than a lot of riders in the Tour. We had a good preparation at the Ster ZLM Toer and Tour de Luxembourg, but it’s dangerous to conclude anything. Those races were of course good for the sprint mechanism. It’s fantastic for me to make my Tour début in such an experienced team. I’m looking forward to the biggest cycling event in the world.”

 

Tony Gallopin (27) – 5th Tour

“The Tour is the biggest race of the year, especially for a Frenchman. Because of my performances of last year cycling fans will forever remember my name. It will be very difficult to repeat that scenario. I definitely want to win another stage. To wear the yellow jersey everything has to fall into place, just like last year. I don’t want to choose between both; it’s a different feeling. There are a few stages that suit a rider like me, but first we’ll try to get through the first week and I will work together with the others for a good team result.”

 

André Greipel (32) – 5th Tour

“It’s a cliché to say that we want to win a stage. People expect that a sprinter who always won a stage the previous editions will do it this year as well. It’s not that easy, but we have a team to make it happen. We trust each other implicitly, we have lots of experience and riders who want to do everything for each other. That gives some pressure, but that’s normal in a race like the Tour de France. The sooner we win, the better, but we’ll focus on what we have to do. Not only me, but all teammates have the capacities to aim for a stage win. We push each other to the highest level, we motivate each other and together with the whole staff we have a strong team to perform as good as possible during these three weeks.”

 

Adam Hansen (34) – 6th Tour

“It was a relief that the injuries after my crash at the Ster ZLM Toer weren’t too severe, so there wasn’t any danger I’d miss the Tour because of it. Because of the visit to Belgium this is a special edition for the team and I’m happy to be here. Of course I’ll do everything I can to lead André to the victory. I also hope to get in a breakaway that can fight for the stage win. I already won a stage at the Giro and Vuelta and I would like to add a Tour stage to my victories. We have a dynamic team, with lots of riders who love to race aggressively and we’ll help each other when we can.”

 

Greg Henderson (38) – 4th Tour

“The Tour is the most important race of the year, with the best riders at the start and everyone is in top shape. On top of that there is a lot of media attention and lots of spectators. I’ll take on my role as lead-out of André. That train, which already led André to a number of victories, is as good as the same, only Jens takes the place of Jürgen Roelandts. Jens and Jürgen are similar riders, it won’t change a lot. Boht are strong, fast and good at their job. I like to share my experience with a young guy like Jens. My job is also to make sure everyone is calm in the finale, so we can take the right decision on a crucial moment. Last year I had to abandon after a crash, that can always happen, the first week is dangerous again. That’s why I don’t ask for luck, but for no bad luck.”

 

Marcel Sieberg (33) – 6th Tour

“I’m here to do my job for the team and André. I’m probably one of the few riders who doesn’t immediately think of joining a breakaway. I’ll have do to my job in the flat stages and get the train running on the right moment. I’m also looking forward to the cobblestone stage. We have a team with several riders who love to ride the classics and I think we’ll perform very well that day. The mountain stages aren’t my cup of tea. With my length and weight it’s not easy to survive, but I definitely want to get to Paris. Three years ago we finished with nine riders on the Champs Elysées; I want that again.”

 

Tim Wellens (24) – 1st Tour

“The moment is finally there. After weeks of preparation I’m longing for the actual start. It’s like a dream that comes true. Winning a stage would be incredible, if I won’t be able to play a role it would be a disappointment. I quit the Dauphiné as a precaution, but I wasn’t really worried. The day before I had race my best five minutes ever, and you can’t do that when you are not in excellent shape. The saddle sore is over. I’ll look at it day by day during the Tour, I hope to get some luck, but the better the legs, the less luck you need. It’s a luxury to go to my first Tour this way, because I can try a lot and the pressure isn’t too high.”

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