On Saturday the 29th of June it’s finally time for the 100th Tour de France to start on Corsica! Lotto Belisol has rounded up its selection of nine riders for the race.
André Greipel and Jurgen Van Den Broeck will be the backbone of the team.
Van den Broeck has prepared himself for months to his big goal. He went on training camp to the Sierra Nevada several times and did a recon of the stages in Corsica, the Alps, the Pyrenees and the time trials. Last year he became fourth for the second time. In the mountains he will be assisted by among others Bart de Clercq, who makes his début.
André Greipel is the second leader of the team. In 2012 he won three times. A stage win is again the goal, the German can rely on the best sprint train. Manager Marc Segeant comments on the selection.
Manager Marc Sergeant: “Our nine riders are ready for it. From Bak to Willems it are all guys in whom we have confidence that they will perform their task very well for three weeks and they’ll represent Lotto Belisol in the best way possible. All riders that have the necessary experience to mingle themselves in the bustle of three weeks Tour de France.”
“Considering that our core is almost identical to that of last year also our Tour selection doesn’t differ much from previous edition. André Greipel and Jurgen Van Den Broeck are still our main leaders. Last year the team has proved it is possible to pursue two goals. André of course has his train to support him: Greg Henderson, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg. The past few months we worked on the automatisms, with a number of victories as a result, but at the start of the Tour all fast guys begin as equals. The competition is big in the last straight line will be big, but of course our goal is to lead André to a stage win.”
“Jurgen Van Den Broeck only has brought some small changes to his Tour preparation; The Tour de Romandie instead of the Walloon Classics, an extra week of rest after the Volta a Cataluña, Vuelta al País Vasco and the Tour de Romandie, but for the rest it was a passionate and meticulous drawn preparation just like the previous years. We know the cause of the two difficult days in the Dauphiné, but I think it was clear immediately that this hasn’t affected his focus and goal. It’s still his ultimate goal to make a bid for the Tour podium, but there aren’t few candidates for a place in top ten. For our country it’s a unique fact to have a rider who can have those kind of ambitions.”
“Jurgen will be able to rely on the support of among other Bart de Clercq, who makes his début, and Fredrik Willems. It’s still only the third season as a pro for Bart and he’s developing year after year as a rider who …. Mountainous terrain. Frederik Willems had a difficult year in 2012 but showed the past few months that’s he’s back. Guys like Lars Bak and Adam Hansen are invaluable, as well for André as for Jurgen, and perform much invisible work.”
“The 100th edition of the Tour will be even more special than another Tour. Tour organization ASO has drawn a beautiful, varied but selective course with the start in Corsica, the team time trial, two not too big nice time trials, the visits to France’s biggest cities, the finish on the Mont Ventoux, the double passage on Alpe d’Huez and the final stage from Versailles to Paris. I hope we will succeed to pursue our ambitions with the team spirit that is characteristic for Lotto Belisol as well on the bike as next to it, with riders and staff.”
Selection Lotto Belisol:
- Lars Bak
- Bart de Clercq
- André Greipel
- Adam Hansen
- Greg Henderson
- Jürgen Roelandts
- Marcel Sieberg
- Jurgen Van Den Broeck
- Frederik Willems
- Mario Aerts
- Herman Frison
- Marc Wauters