Lotto Soudal to aim for stage victories in Giro d'Italia
May 01 2021 11:35 pm CET

Lotto Soudal to aim for stage victories in Giro d'Italia
Lotto Soudal to aim for stage victories in Giro d'Italia
Image: Lotto Soudal logo

Lotto Soudal is set to start in the Giro d'Italia with a diverse roster that will fight for stage victories.

The 104th edition of the Corsa Rosa will start with an 8-kilometre time trial in Turin and will finish with another fight against the clock in the centre of Milan. The Belgian team will be at the start line with a roster that will mix experience and youth.

"We should be able to compete on almost every terrain with this eight-man squad, except for the general classification," said sports director Mario Aerts. "The aim is to go for at least one stage win and we also want to show ourselves in the front line.

"Caleb Ewan is one of the world's fastest sprinters and already won three Giro stages in the past. This year, there are some five sprint opportunities for Caleb, but at Milan-Sanremo he really impressed uphill. So, depending on the race situation, there could be a few more chances. Of course, we will do everything we can to bring Caleb in the best possible position towards the final sprint. That is why Jasper De Buyst and Roger Kluge are part of the Giro team, because they act as the regular lead-outs for Caleb."

And the roster will also have riders to fight in the more challenging stages. "Due to a crash at Paris-Nice, Kobe Goossens was out for quite a while, but at the Tour de Romandie, he proves to be back at a really good level," the sports director continued. "He did a great job at the Vuelta last year, which was his first Grand Tour.

"We give him all the freedom to discover how far he can go in the general classification, but we don't put any pressure on him. We'll take it day by day. Harm Vanhoucke already showed his fine climbing legs the last months. Harm won't go for the overall, but rather aims for a stage win. With a third place atop the Etna last year, this certainly is a realistic goal."

And the line-up of the team will also include some riders for the breakaways, including one that's an expert in the escapes. "In general, the Giro is perfectly suited for stage hunters," explained Aerts. "Thomas De Gendt needs no introduction and if his legs are good, he will definitely go for a stage win. The Giro also helps him to improve the shape a little more towards the Tour.

"Tomasz Marczy?ski showed good form at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and with two stage wins at La Vuelta, he already proved he can finish off an early breakaway. Our Italian Stefano Oldani already showed himself a couple of times at last year's Giro and is really motivated for three weeks of racing in his home country. He will be part of the sprint preparation for Caleb, but Stefano also has a strong sprint in the legs and can go uphill really well."

Lotto Soudal's roster for the Giro d'Italia (May 8-30):

Jasper De Buyst
Thomas De Gendt
Caleb Ewan
Kobe Goossens
Roger Kluge
Tomasz Marczynski
Stefano Oldani
Harm Vanhoucke
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