From Wednesday till Sunday the Tour Méditerranéen will be contested in the South of France. This five days race begins with a stage between Limoux and Gruissan that is cut out for sprinter André Greipel. In this race there are some climbs we know from Paris Nice: the finish of the fourth stage is on the Mont Faron and the final stage is passing on the Col du Tanneron.
On the second day there is a time trial of 24 kilometers between Cap d’Agde and Sète, on this small piece of land Brian Bulgaç can possibly set a good result. In France Jürgen Roelandts will keep on preparing himself for the classics that are coming up and he will get his chance in some stages.
Herman Frison, sports director: “The goal is to win one of the five stages, so we can set our number on ten. We have the team for it, especially because Greipel is in the selection; our first goal is a stage win with André. We have to wait and see how he has digested the jetlag after returning from the Tour Down Under. The same goes for Kaisen, Sieberg and Roelandts.”
“Greipel has the biggest chance in the first stage and maybe the third day will also end with a sprint. That stage has a few local rounds and is also very hilly, but André is okay so he can handle that. It depends on how the stage will develop. The team is built around Greipel and Roelandts, who is in preparation for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. In the tougher stages, like the final day, Jürgen can take his chance. The broken phalanx in his middle finger is especially bothering him on bumpy roads. It will each day get better, but it will take a few weeks before it is completely healed.”
“The time trial on the second day is tough. The last few kilometers are very steep. It’s difficult to say how it will end, it’s only the beginning of the season. We don’t really have a time trial specialist in our selection, but Bulgaç might set a good time. He might also be good in the fourth stage to the Mont Faron and in the fifth stage. Hopefully he can get in the top ten of the classification.”
Selection Lotto Belisol: Brian Bulgaç, Jens Debusschere, Gert Dockx, André Greipel, Olivier Kaisen, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Frederik Willems
Sports directors: Herman Frison and Jean-Pierre Heynderickx
Stages Tour Méditerranéen
Stage 1: Wednesday 6/02: Limoux – Gruissan (146,5 km)
Stage 2: Thursday 7/02: Cap d’Agde – Sète Mont Saint-Clair, ITT (24 km)
Stage 3: Friday 8/02: L’Estaque – Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (140 km)
Stage 4 : Saturday 9/02 : Rousset – Toulon Mont Faron (145 km)
Stage 5 : Sunday 10/02 : Bandol – Grasse (192 km)