Ewan, De Buyst and Kluge re-sign already. Two more years with Lotto Soudal.
Lightning sprint train till 2022
After some years of absence, Lotto Soudal will again be at the start of the Tour of Denmark on Wednesday 21 August. The five-day Europe Tour stage race is up for its 29th edition, which sees the riders take on four stages and one test against the clock. Sports director Bart Leysen explains the course and the Lotto Soudal line-up that will race in Denmark.
Bart Leysen: “There are several reasons why we take the start in Denmark this year. Firstly, this multi-day race, which also includes a time trial, is suited as a preparation towards the world championships. In addition, the Tour of Denmark offers quite some opportunities for young riders, such as Gerben Thijssen, who will take part in his first stage race since he joined our WorldTour team. Moreover, there aren’t many short stage races on the calendar which are not too hard. And also, Denmark is an important market for our partner Soudal.”
“In my opinion, there are two stages that will be decisive in the battle for the overall victory. On day two, a 17 kilometres long time trial is scheduled, a distance in which the necessary time differences can be made. Besides, there is stage three with a short but steep uphill finish in Velje. Tiesj Benoot - who will return to competition after a tough Tour - is of course able to obtain a good general classification but also Jelle Vanendert knows the finale in Velje really well. So we definitely have two trump cards for that finish, but also Jasper De Buyst can compete for the victory on a good day.”
“The stage profiles can sometimes give a distorted image, but I see at least two chances for a bunch sprint, maybe a third one where there will be a small group sprinting for victory. With Jasper De Buyst and Gerben Thijssen, we have two fast guys within our line-up. Jasper is the most experienced rider and he also did the Tour. On the other hand, Gerben Thijssen is a pure sprinter. In principle, Jasper will be our first option because of his wide experience and Tour de France shape, but a lot will depend on the race situation and also the time trial. If Jasper would do an excellent time trial, he will - with the bonification seconds at the finish in mind - of course do the sprints. Iversen is undoubtedly motivated to race in his home country, he needs to control and can - just like Brent Van Moer - ride a good time trial. As a local, his knowledge of the course can also be an additional benefit for the team.”
“We will take the start as one of the three WorldTour teams, but that doesn’t mean we will have to carry the entire weight of the race. However, if necessary, we can for sure take control of the race with these six guys. The general classification will already take shape after the time trial on day two. Before the start of stage three, we will need to evaluate our overall standings and then try to finish as high as possible.”
Line-up Lotto Soudal: Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst, Rasmus Byriel Iversen, Gerben Thijssen, Brent Van Moer and Jelle Vanendert.
Sports director: Bart Leysen.
Stage 1 21 August: Silkeborg – Silkeborg (170 km)
Stage 2 22 August: Grindsted – Grindsted (ITT – 17 km)
Stage 3 23 August: Holstebro – Vejle (200 km)
Stage 4 24 August: Korsør - Asnæs Indelukke (175 km)
Stage 5 25 August: Roskilde – Frederiksberg (165 km)