WorldTour

Aiming for stage wins in Tour de Romandie

29/04/2019

The Tour de Romandie will be covered in the French part of Switzerland from Tuesday 30 April until Sunday 5 May. The 73rd edition of this WorldTour race contains a prologue, four hilly stages and a concluding individual time trial. Last year, Primož Roglič won the Tour de Romandie, while Thomas De Gendt took a stage win. Frederik Willems, sports director at Lotto Soudal, explains the line-up and the ambitions of the team.

Frederik Willems, sports director at Lotto Soudal: “We start with a prologue and at the end there is a time trial. That is interesting for us, because Victor Campenaert is in our line-up. The stages are not so long, although anything but flat. For example, the first stage includes 3,000 altimetres over a 165 kilometres long course. So I suppose it will be a selective Tour de Romandie. Our main ambition is to win the time trial with Victor. Furthermore, our line-up mostly consists of attackers. We have a lot of possibilities to make it an offensive race. In case it would be a sprint finish, we can count on Adam Blythe.”

"Carl Fredrik Hagen returns after a period of illness. Sander Armée has taken part in the Classics, but he also wanted to ride in Romandie. Thomas De Gendt starts again after he took a break following an excellent Paris-Nice and Volta a Catalunya. With Thomas you never know what is possible. He is someone who always is a strong opposition for the bunch. The course certainly suits him to achieve something, but we also need to give him some time after his rest period. It is good for him to complete this stage race ahead of the Giro. This is also an opportunity for Victor to be back in the peloton after his specific preparation for the hour record. However, this is a WorldTour race, so it is important for us to perform well."

“Unfortunately, Jelle Wallays was struck by stomach flu so he has to postpone his comeback. Rasmus Byriel Iversen replaces him. The young rider has not done a lot of races yet due to a broken collarbone. I saw he was in good shape during the Tour of Turkey, so now he gets his chance in the WorldTour again. Our neo-pro Harm Vanhoucke also performed well in the Tour of Turkey, which left a nice impression. For him, this basically is a year to learn as much as possible. We have to give Harm time to discover everything. We can refer to the evolution of Bjorg Lambrecht as an example.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Sander Armée, Adam Blythe, Victor Campenaerts, Thomas De Gendt, Carl Fredrik Hagen, Rasmus Byriel Iversen and Harm Vanhoucke.

Sports directors: Frederik Willems and Kevin De Weert.

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