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"My advantage is that I’m capable of fighting for the victory in two different ways. I can wait for a sprint or I can take the initiative and attack. Everything will depend on the race situation, which teams will p...

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AMSTEL GOLD RACE

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JELLE VANENDERT

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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PIM LIGTHART

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TIESJ BENOOT

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TIM WELLENS

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TONY GALLOPIN

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TOSH VAN DER SANDE

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15.04.2016 @ 21:50 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

On Sunday, the first of three ‘Ardennes Classics’ is scheduled. The 51st edition of the Amstel Gold Race will again be something for the real punchers. Lotto Soudal will be led by Tim Wellens and Tony Gallopin.

 

 

“Last year I finished sixth in a sprint with about fifteen riders," Gallopin said. "I don’t think I was able to obtain a better result. A sprint after 250 kilometres is always different compared to a sprint in a stage race for instance. It won’t be easy to perform as well as last year. The preparation went fluently though, since Paris-Nice I was able to build up my condition with the coming races in mind. I felt really good in the Tour of the Basque Country despite the bad weather conditions. I caught a cold but I don’t think that will influence my performances.

 

“Also in the Brabantse Pijl everything turned out well, although I’m disappointed because I was unable to obtain the victory. The goal was to drop the fast riders such as Michael Matthews and that plan worked. Unfortunately Petr Vakoc was too strong in the finale. This race was good for the confidence, I rode a lot of stage races this year and then participating in the Brabantse Pijl is tough, it’s a very explosive race.

 

“The Amstel Gold Race is a different type of race compared to the Brabantse Pijl. It’s a WorldTour race of 250 kilometres, every team starts with the ambition to win the race and everyone is very focussed. I think all the riders know the course very well, my advantage is that I’m capable of fighting for the victory in two different ways. I can wait for a sprint or I can take the initiative and attack. Everything will depend on the race situation, which teams will pull at the front of the peloton, how good the legs are and so on.”

 

While Gallopin may take his chance in a sprint, a confident Tim Wellens will attack.

 

“I prepared myself differently for the coming races compared to previous years," he said. "Last year I was already in top condition in the Tour of the Basque Country, therefore I was unable to obtain nice results in the Ardennes Classics. Now I’ve chosen to pick a stage and to test the legs once or twice. The first goal of the season was to perform well in Paris-Nice, eventually I won the final stage which was very nice. I think I’m ready for the next goal of the season, the Ardennes Classics.

 

“Last year I said I would be disappointed if I was unable to obtain a top ten place in one of the three coming races. Unfortunately I didn’t. It’s very difficult to predict the following races, although I think that I’m stronger than last year. I hope that the cobbled classics inspired the riders. The past few weeks, the fans got some aggressive and amusing races. Our team, which is in my opinion very strong, prefers to race in such way. We always want to attack early and ride aggressively. Hopefully the other teams think the same and then it’s possible that it will be a very attractive race.”

 

Line-up Lotto Soudal:

Tiesj Benoot, Tony Gallopin, Pim Ligthart, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.

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