Lotto Soudal starts in Vuelta al Pais Vasco with the goal of a Belgian victory
Apr 02 2018 01:35 am CET

Lotto Soudal starts in Vuelta al Pais Vasco with the goal of a Belgian victory

Lotto Soudal faces the Vuelta al Pais Vasco without GC aspirations but with the intention of getting the first Belgian stage victory in almost thirty years.

The last Belgian to win a stage in the Spanish race was Johan Bruyneel in 1991 with Lotto-Superclub when he clocked the best time at the closing time trial. Now, 27 years later, Lotto Soudal wants another victory for a rider of the team's country.

"We don’t have any GC ambitions, but we want to race aggressively as that’s our only chance of success," said sports director Mario Aerts. "We have only Belgians in our line-up. It has been almost thirty years since a Belgian has won a stage. It would be wonderful to change that. I finished second once, in the fifth stage in the edition of 1999."

One of the cards of the team to reach this objective is Thomas De Gendt. "The Volta a Catalunya was successful for us, with the stage win of Thomas De Gendt," the director commented. "He will also race in País Vasco. The way he won was once again typical for him. Few thought he would be able to make it. Neo-pro Bjorg Lambrecht did it very well last week. He finished seventeenth in the last stage in Barcelona.

"That proves he definitely wasn’t empty at the end of the week. It was a good experience for him on the highest level of cycling, also at País Vasco, he will learn a lot. Maxime Monfort joined a breakaway one day in Catalunya, his condition is improving day by day. Jelle Vanendert was good last week, he’s working on his final preparation on the Walloon Classics."

Lotto-Soudal's line-up for the Vuelta al Pais Vasco (2nd-7th of April):

Sander Armée
Thomas De Gendt
Bjorg Lambrecht
Rémy Mertz
Maxime Monfort
Tosh Van der Sande
Jelle Vanendert
Image: Lotto-Soudal logo



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