- Published: Friday, 25 July 2014 11:38
- Written by Jamie Naragon
From Saturday 26th of July until Wednesday 30th of July the Tour de Wallonie is scheduled. This stage race from the Europe Tour is contested by teams of seven riders. Jens Debusschere will ride his first race in the jersey of Belgian champion. He is accompanied by among other Maxime Monfort, who comes back after a crash in the Tour de Suisse.
The Tour de Wallonie consists of fifteen stages, there is no time trial. The first stage there are actually two big laps with three hills, among it the Kluisberg. This stage and the one on Sunday offer the best chances to the sprinters. In stage three escapees have a chance or there can be a sprint of a reduced peloton. On Tuesday there are eleven climbs on the course. The last one is the Mur d’Amay at 17.2 kilometers from the finish in Waremme. On the last day the riders get to do the final of Liège-Bastogne-Liège with the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons, the Côte de Saint-Nicolas and finish at Côte d’Ans.
Bart Leysen, sports director: “Apart from Jelle Vanendert, who rode the Tour of Austria, everyone comes back in competition after a period of rest. For Jens Debusschere it will be a stimulus all year long to be able to wear that Belgian jersey. He’s our man for the sprint, together with Kris Boeckmans. Tosh Van der Sande can survive the short climbs and is definitely fast when a small group gets to the finish. The first two stages can definitely end with a bunch sprint. The third stage it’s uncertain.”
“The team is put together so that we have a man for each type of stage. We want to race offensively. Jelle Vanendert and Maxime Monfort are our GC contenders. Although I expect Tosh should be able to set a good result as well. Pim Ligthart and Tim Wellens can join breakaways and can finish the job. Tim became eighth in the overall classification last year, so he can aim for a good GC as well. The last day is the toughest. At the end it’s almost identical to the final of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Before that there are six other hills. It will be difficult to control with teams of seven riders. Wednesday will be decisive.”
Selection Lotto Belisol: Kris Boeckmans, Jens Debusschere, Pim Ligthart, Maxime Monfort, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.
Sports directors: Jean-Pierre Heynderickx and Bart Leysen.
Stage 1: Saturday 26th of July: Frasnes-lez-Anvaing – Tournai (147.9 km)
Stage 2: Sunday 27th of July: Peronnes-lez-Antoing –Perwez (193.1 km)
Stage 3: Monday 28th of July: Somme-Leuze – Neuchâteau (174.1 km)
Stage 4: Tuesday 29th of July: Herve – Waremme (174.9 km)
Stage 5: Wednesday 30th of July: Malmedy – Ans (180.6 km)