Preview Flèche Wallonne
Mario Aerts, sports director at Lotto Soudal, talks about a race he won himself in 2002.
Lotto Soudal will be targeting stage wins in the upcoming Tour de France. Sports director Herman Frison isn’t only thinking about winning one of the sprint stages with André Greipel, but he’s also looking at the riders in the team that have a free role.
Herman Frison, sports director Lotto Soudal: “We didn’t come to the Tour for a good GC. That’s already important for the focus in the next three weeks. Our main goal is to win a stage. That could be with André Greipel or with another rider who wins from a breakaway. We never questioned the fact that André Greipel would come to the Tour with us. You don’t leave a top sprinter like him home when he’s in shape. This decision wasn’t based on performances of the past, but it’s because we believe that André can win a Tour stage again. The list with sprinters is pretty long. Greipel is high on that list of possible winners. As a team, we will do all what we can to help him win that stage. Jasper De Buyst, Marcel Sieberg and Jens Keukeleire will be part of his sprint train. Also Tomasz Marczyński and Tiesj Benoot have proven in several races that they are capable of playing a helping role in the last kilometres.”
“Then we could also win a stage with all our riders who have a free role. That are first of all Tiesj Benoot, Thomas De Gendt, Tomasz Marczyński and Jelle Vanendert. But also Jens Keukeleire is able to take a victory that way, he proved that last year by becoming third in one of the last stages.”
“In theory we have a chance of winning in almost every stage. For the breakaway riders that does partially depend on how the teams of the GC riders want to race. I hope to see a lot of Lotto Soudal riders at the front both on the sprint stages and in the other types of stages as of the second week. I think we have a good mix of riders. The guys from the sprint train can pursue personal success later in the Tour and some of the riders with a free role can lend a hand in sprint stages. Everybody knows his job and the entire team is motivated.”