• Marc Sergeant analyses 2014

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  • Jens Debusschere wins last race of the season

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  • The off-season of Marcel Sieberg

    30 october 2014 - 11:10

    The 2014 cycling season only came to an end two weeks ago or one's already thinking of next year. Last week Marcel Sieberg got back on the bike to gradually build up to 2015. The German rode his last race on 3rd of October, but already had a break of two weeks before that. He talks about how the off-season looks like for him.

    Five-week break
    Marcel Sieberg:
    "In total I had a five-week break. In between I rode the Münsterland Giro on 3rd of October. Normally I take a break of four weeks in the off-season. This year that was one week more, but compared to other years I've started the trainings on an earlier date."

    "During these weeks off, my family and I moved house, so it was a stressful period. There were still things that needed to be done in the house. Normally I go on a holiday in October, but that wasn't the case this year because of the move. Also, our daughter is only a few months old, so we decided to stay home. During this off-season in enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter. I do normal things, that I can't do often during the season, like visiting family."

    Take it slowly
    "The past few weeks I left my bike aside, but since a few days I've started training again. In autumn and winter I also like to ride the mountain bike in weekend. I'm gradually building up towards next year. I do rides of two to three hours to start slowly. When it rains I skip a ride. I still have plenty of time to get in shape. In November and December I will train on the rollers when it rains."

    Nice to be on the bike
    "The distances of my training rides now depend on how I'm feeling. The next two months that will be more consistent and I'll do power training as well. I will also take up core stability training then, which I do on a rest day for example. It's nice to be back on the bike. At the beginning of the break you're happy of course, but after a few weeks you want to start again."

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  • Marc Sergeant analyses 2014

    25 october 2014 - 13:10

    Now the cycling season is over Lotto Belisol manager Marc Sergeant analyses 2014.

    Marc Sergeant about the victories
    "With 29 victories we are sixth in the team ranking and Greipel has the most victories of the international peloton. But I would have loved to swop some victories in the Europe Tour for victories in the WorldTour. Because the eight WorldTour victories and the two national titles make our season, the other wins are soon forgotten."

    Marc Sergeant about the spring
    "The biggest gap in our season are the Flemish spring races. A sixth place for Gallopin in Harelbeke, the same for Debusschere in Waregem and a victory in Nokere for Dehaes is not enough. We didn't play a role in the opening weekend; in Ghent-Wevelgem, the Ronde and Paris-Roubaix we had bad luck."

    Marc Sergeant about the one-day races
    "With eleven top ten spots on a total of fourteen WorldTour one-day races we can be satisfied, apart from the cobblestone classics. Vanendert got second in the Amstel and sixth in San Sebastián, Gallopin third in Montréal, fifth in San Sebastián and sixth in Harelbeke, and Wellens fourth in Lombardia and sixth in Plouay. If Roelandts can join them next year we're good."

    Marc Sergeant about the stage races
    "The victory of Wellens in the Eneco Tour was outstanding. Van den Broeck became nicely third in the Dauphiné. Generally we had hoped for more in the Grand Tours and the stage races of one week. Top ten in Giro, Tour and Vuelta was never in the cards and also in other stage races we didn't battle for the prizes."

    Marc Sergeant about Tour 2014
    "There was lots of reaction about the performances of Gallopin. Then it becomes clear again which impact the Tour has. He loved the feeling to stand on the podium in the yellow jersey more than winning the stage, but that victory was a very strong performance according to me. Greipel wins in Reims, the only time he didn't really have a lead-out, after it hadn't gone smoothly the days before. ‘I risked my life', he told that evening, but that's sometimes necessary to win in the Tour."

    Marc Sergeant about Lotto Soudal
    "It's exceptional in cycling that the most important partners commit themselves for such a long time to a project. With Lotto, Soudal, Ridley and Vermarc four very important partners have done that. That gives peace of mind, but brings also responsibility with it. The partners have expectations and ambitions, it's up to us to fulfil those."

    Marc Sergeant about Jurgen Van den Broeck
    "Jurgen was always a member of the Tour selection the past years, for 2015 that's not certain yet. But that doesn't mean he won't ride either. The next few weeks we'll talk with the riders about their programme. I will talk very openly with him, take all things into account that play a role in it and see which route we will take with him. Maybe we will only make the final decision after the first part of the year, after we had Paris-Nice or the Tirreno, Catalunya, País Vasco and Romandie."

    Marc Sergeant about Jürgen Roelandts
    "Jürgen never was at his best in 2014. Problems with his teeth, bad luck and crashes, inflamed sinuses,... There was always something wrong. We believe in him. He will extend his contract soon. I told him that he had to forget everything, we will monitor his problems and if he has a good winter he will be able to grow towards his best shape. The idea not to send him to Australia and build up to the Flemish races more gradually, is a consequence of that."

    Marc Sergeant about Tim Wellens
    "This year he has set a big step forward, bigger than we had expected. I think he's ready to be the leader in certain races next year. Normally he will make his debut in the Tour. Not for a GC, but to show nice things with his offensive racing style in some stages. We will see if he will become a rider for the Grand Tours or the smaller stage races and classics. He's the exponent of a nice generation of youngsters who knock on the door, with among other Broeckx, Vervaeke, Benoot, Vallée, De Buyst and De Bie. They have to form the basis of our future."

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  • Review season U23

    24 october 2014 - 13:10

    Since two weeks the off-season has started for the U23-riders. The Lotto Belisol team has won 31 times in 2014. Sports director Kurt Van de Wouwer looks back at some highlights. Four riders will become pro next year, Louis Vervaeke already set that step in July.

    Top Competition
    Kurt Van de Wouwer, sports director: "We can only be satisfied with the results of this season, we have won 31 times. The victory in the Top Competition with the team and individually with Kenneth Van Rooy are the highlights of the season. Our team won the competition for the third time in a row. But it was the first overall win with a single rider."

    Four GC wins in stage races
    "The team won four stage races. Louis Vervaeke was the best in the Tour de l'Isard and the Tour des Pays de Savoie, both with stages in the high mountains. Dan McLay won the Tour of East-Flanders and the ‘Zeeuws'-Flemish cycling weekend. Dan McLay had the most victories, which is not that strange because he is a sprinter. He won the points jersey in the Tour de Romandie, two GC's, and four stages in stage races with amongst them a stage in the Tour de l'Avenir."

    Belgian championship title
    "With Jef Van Meirhaeghe we won the Belgian championship title on the road. Ruben Pols became second in the time trial which was a disappointment for him. He became champion of East-Flanders, won a test time trial, and the time trial in the ‘Zeeuws'-Flemish cycling weekend. Together with Frederik Frison he was selected for the World Championship time trial. Frison suffered illness due to a virus but still got selected for the world championships. In August he rode some test time trials and won in Neerpelt and Angreau. At the World Championship time trial he became ninth."

    Regularity of Benoot
    "Tiesj Benoot had lots of regularity in his performances, but had to be content with many top ten spots. He conquered the points jersey in the Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux and became second in the overall standings. In the Tour de l'Isard he finished third in the GC. In the Tour of Flanders for U23 he was third and fifth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. In the World Championships road race he was fourth. During his traineeship, Tiesj showed himself to be ready for the step to the pro peloton. Notwithstanding his youthfulness he played his part in the final of Paris-Tours. That is promising."

    Five riders become pro
    "Louis Vervaeke became a pro in July, it was his third year in the U23 category, but he handled the change well. In the Clásica San Sebastián he could support Jelle Vanendert and Tony Gallopin for a long time. Louis is a pure climber and has a lot of potential. At the end of August he won the final stage of the Tour de l'Avenir. In total there are five riders from our youth team who will be pro next year. Besides Benoot and Vervaeke, who will ride for our pro team, there is also Amaury Capiot, Dan McLay and Jef Van Meirhaeghe. This amount of riders is extremely high. The average is two riders per season. This is rather exceptional and we're very proud of it. The development of riders and offering them opportunities is one of the main goals of the Belgian National Lottery to support the cycling sport in the width, and this via the Lotto brand."

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