Lotto Belisol has announced its selections for the first races of 2013.
The season starts in the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon on the 14th of January. Sports director Jean-Pierre Heynderickx is heading to Africa with the following six riders: Dirk Bellemakers, Gaëtan Bille, Gert Dockx, Maarten Neyens, Vicente Reynes and Fréderique Robert.
In the meantime traditionally the first WorldTour race of the year is taking place, the Tour Down Under, preceded by the Down Under Classic two days earlier. Herman Frison is sports director in that race, Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson – although he’s a New-Zealander – are the local heroes, André Greipel the top sprinter; together with Olivier Kaisen, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg and Tim Wellens they will form the Lotto Belisol squad.
For the first time the team will also go to Argentina for the Tour de San Luis. Jurgen Van den Broeck will start his season in South-America, supported by Bart De Clercq, Jens Debusschere, Kenny Dehaes, Joost Van Leijen and Frederik Willems. Mario Aerts will be in the team car.
At the end of January the European season begins with the GP La Marseillaise, followed by the Etoile de Bessèges. There the team will be guided by Bart Leysen and Jean-Pierre Heynderickx. Lars Bak, Dirk Bellemakers, Brian Bulgaç, Francis De Greef, Maarten Neyens, Fréderique Robert, Jurgen Van de Walle and Tosh Van der Sande will represent the team in France.
Between the 3rd and 14th of January the riders will take off in small groups to training camp in Benicassim. Those who will ride the Tour Down Under won’t go and will be leaving for Australia already the 8th of January to grow accustomed to the circumstances. The men for Gabon will stay till the 9th of January, just like Jurgen Van den Broeck. The other riders will arrive on the 5th and will stay till the 14th of January.