Caleb Ewan stage winner and race leader Down Under
With a perfectly timed jump, Caleb Ewan wins stage 2 in the Tour Down Under.
On Sunday 1 September, Lotto Soudal will be at the start of the 53th Bretagne Classic - Ouest-France. During this French one-day race, part of the WorldTour circuit, the riders will face a challenging course of 250 hilly kilometres between the start and finish in Plouay. Last year, Tim Wellens finished third during a soaking wet and truly memorable edition, it was Oliver Naesen who sprinted to his second win in Plouay. Sports director Frederik Willems discusses the ambitions of Lotto Soudal for this year.
Frederik Willems: “Following a long period in which the organisation opted for a local circuit, once again, another course has been drawn this time. Now, the riders will only do one local lap at the end, which includes the Ty Marrec, a hill of around one kilometre in length, on a narrow road. Last year, the rainy conditions made for a super tough race. Even there might be no rain this year, it will be hard, that is for sure. A scenario in which a big group sprints for the win, seems highly unlikely to me. A sprint with 30 to 40 riders is a possibility, but in my opinion, a rather small group will fight for victory, just like last year. After 180 kilometres of racing, the riders face two gravel sections, which will undoubtedly cause some nervousness in the bunch and I think that’s where the race will kick off.”
“With Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst and Tim Wellens, we have three riders within our line-up who came out of the Tour de France really well, something they also proved with a stage win in the Tour of Denmark and the BinckBank Tour. It could certainly be to our advantage when for example Tiesj and Tim would be part of a considerable front group. Jasper is another card we can play if it would come down to a group sprint. We need to give guys like Oliver Naesen or other favourites a hard time with these three riders. The other Lotto Soudal riders will mainly ride at the service of the team. This race is an ideal opportunity for Stan Dewulf to gain experience with the coming years in mind. It is a course that really suits him and I think he will be able to compete for the victory in the future.”
Line-up Lotto Soudal: Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst, Stan Dewulf, Rémy Mertz, Maxime Monfort, Brent Van Moer and Tim Wellens.
Sports director: Frederik Willems.