Strong Lotto-Soudal to face Dwars door Vlaanderen
Mar 28 2018 01:52 am CET

Strong Lotto-Soudal to face Dwars door Vlaanderen

Lotto-Soudal will appear in the Ronde van Vlaanderen with several riders as options for the victory depending on the conditions of the race.

The race will be part of the WorldTour calendar for the second time, taking place just four days before the Tour of Flanders, and will have a new 180-kilometre course.

Lotto-Soudal will take riders like Jasper De Buyst, Tiesj Benoot and Jens Debusschere with the idea that one of them adapts to the conditions of the race and can fight for the victory. De Buyst had a crash in Milano-Sanremo and in Gent-Wevelgem he started feeling in complete shape again.

"At E3 Harelbeke on Friday I didn’t feel fully recovered from my crash in Sanremo," said the rider. "That’s why I decided to do my job for Tiesj Benoot early on in the race. After some visits to the physiotherapist, my elbow and hand didn’t bother me anymore on Sunday. I am actually very happy with my current shape.

"Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to confirm that by setting a good result because bad luck struck twice. Both in Sanremo and Wevelgem I was riding at the front in the deep finale. That proves I am good. If I wouldn’t have had a mechanical on Sunday I would have been part of the large group of 25 that rode to the finish in Wevelgem together."

The Belgian rider is looking forward to Dwars door Vlaanderen. "We start with a strong team tomorrow," De Buyst commented. "Whose card we’ll play, is to be decided during the race. That will depend on the developments in the race. Because of the new course, the shorter distance and the bad weather it could be an explosive and exhausting race. It will be a matter of being very attentive. The first hill turns up with less than one hundred kilometres to go, which could cause the race to already explode at that point. That would be fine by me.

"Because it’s a new course there are not yet any points where you know the race will really start, although the Taaienberg is always a decisive moment in a race. We need to climb the Côte de Trieu three times and it’s a hill that shouldn’t be underestimated. The bunch can definitely split there. So there are several options."

Lotto-Soudal's line-up for Dwars door Vlaanderen (28th of March):

Lars Bak
Tiesj Benoot
Jasper De Buyst
Jens Debusschere
Nikolas Maes
Lawrence Naesen
Jelle Wallays
Image: Lotto-Soudal logo



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