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  • Preview Vuelta with Mario Aerts

    20 august 2014 - 17:08

    Sports director Mario Aerts outlines his expectations for the Vuelta a España. Both Jens Debusschere and Vegard Breen will ride their first grand tour. Adam Hansen on the other hand has a lot of experience, he will ride his tenth grand tour in a row. Also Jurgen Van den Broeck will be participating in Spain. Just like Maxime Monfort and Bart De Clercq. Mario Aerts explains each rider's role and looks at the route.

    Mario Aerts: "Obviously Jurgen Van den Broeck felt the consequences of his crashes during the Tour and his illness. Between the end of the Tour and the beginning of the Vuelta there are only four weeks, not that much time. First Jurgen took some rest and then resumed his training. He travels to Spain without GC ambitions. In the mountain stages he could aim for a stage win."

    "Maxime Monfort had two main goals at the beginning of the season: the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España. He will aim for a top 15 sport in the overall standings. Maxime reached the sixth sport in the GC in 2011, so the Vuelta suits him. Bart De Clercq abandoned the Tour. So there were questions marks about his selection for the Vuelta, but he is fit. In the Tour of Poland he kept progressing. If it's possible we would like to strive for a good GC with him as well. After the first mountain stages we will see what's possible."

    "Sander Armée didn't race for a long time. After the Belgian Championship he had a long period without races and in the Tour of Poland he had to quit because of illness. The matter of pith is in the last week. He will be a certain help for our team captains in the final. He disposes of a great engine and won't break that easy."

    "Our main sprinter is going to be Jens Debusschere. The competition is strong. Among others Bouhanni, Degenkolb and Sagan will be participating. But with Greg Henderson we have a great lead-out. We go for a stage win. There are four flat stages which are suiting for bunch sprints. Besides those four, there are six stages with little climbs or slight uphill finishes. We will see where Jens can survive and strive for that stage win."

    "Vegard Breen's first grand tour will be a discovery for him where he can grow. He did very well in the Tour of Poland. Vegard can also play a role in sprint lead-out. And who knows he could get away in a breakaway."

    "Adam Hansen and Pim Ligthart are natural born attackers. They will get several chances to participate in a breakaway and create opportunities for a stage win. Besides that they are very good at piloting the sprinters to the front of the peloton in the final. They also can stand by the climbers' sides. True all-rounders"

    The stages
    "I believe we have a very good team for the team time trial. We have several fast riders. In that team time trial we aim for a good result. In the following twelve days there are three finishes uphill. The toughest part of this Vuelta are the last eight stages. Just before the second rest day there are three mountain stages, which will be deciding for the overall standings. Certainly the stage on the last Monday, the queen of all stages. En than there is another mountain stage on the penultimate day."
    "Most of the time the time differences in the Vuelta are not that big, so the time trials will be crucial. The first individual time trial is slightly uphill but the finish is located lower than the start. It will be a fairly quick time trial. The last time trial is rather short but can be important as well. Both Maxime and Bart have time trial qualities. The first individual time trial with the little climb is suited for both."

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  • Vuelta 2014: The route

    19 august 2014 - 21:08

    The third grand tour of the year is coming: the Vuelta a España! It's becoming a tradition to kick off with a team time trial in the evening. This year the start of the Tour of Spain takes place in Jerez de la Frontera. The caravan heads from the southern Andalusia to the northwestern Galicia where the Vuelta finishes, in Santiago de Compostela. Besides the team trial there are two other individual time trials. It seems to be a strive for the overall standings until the final stage.

    Week 1
    Team Time Trial Jerez de la Frontera
    The team time trial is about 12.6 kilometers. The track through the streets of Jerez de la Frontera is technical, there are even cobblestones along the way. The second stage is supposed to be one for the sprinters, although the wind between Algeciras and San Fernando could play a role. The next two stages are somewhat tougher. The third day the peloton climbs to a height of 1100 meters. Both this stage and the next one offers chances for attackers.


    8 finishes uphill
    In the fifth stage, to Ronda, there is a tough third category climb which the top is 15 kilometers away from the finish line. The day after the contenders for the GC will have to be present for the first of eight stages with a finish uphill. The first part of the stage leads us along the coast and is entirely flat, but afterwards there are three climbs. The finish is at the Cumbres Verdes, a first category climb. Friday the stage is up-and-down constantly with the finish on a small climb which doesn't count for the overall climber classification. Sprinters get another opportunity in the eighth stage. They get a long straight line in Albacete, ideal for a Mano à Mano-fight. The 207 kilometers stage is also the longest one of this Vuelta. With the first rest day in sight the peloton has one more stage to come. A tough mountain stage with the finish in Aramón Valdelinares.


    Week 2
    Local laps in Logroño
    The second part of the Tour of Spain starts with a 36.7 kilometers individual time trial. The riders have to cover instantly a climb of third category, the top will be reached after 8 kilometers. Good for a height difference of 400 meters. After the climb it goes nearly all the way down to Borja. Wednesday 3rd of September there is a third stage with an uphill finish, again a first category climb, the Alto San Miguel de Aralar. The day after the riders get a flat stage. After 21 kilometers the peloton begins with their local laps in Logroño, in total 7 laps of 21 kilometers. A genuine chance for the sprinters who have aspirations for a stage win.


    Tough triptych
    Before the riders reach a tough triptych, consisting of three uphill finishes, there is a stage with two third category climbs and one second category climb. The 14th stage finishes at the La Camperona, a first category climb with gradients of 24 %. Sunday 7th of September the finish line is located at the Lagos de Covadonga. This beyond category climb is 12.6 kilometers long and has an average gradient of 7.3%. The last Monday was saved for the queen of all stages. There are no more than five first category climbs to be covered!

    Week 3
    Last chance for the sprinters
    After the second rest day the sprinters get their last chances of victory. The 18th stage has his pith of matter in the final with the Monte Castrove, the second category climb has be covered two times, which is also the finish. The 19th stage contains two climbs of category one. The top of last climb, the Alto de Morrazo is about 20 kilometers away from the finish line. The breakaway or lonesome attacker will have to defend their lead in the descent.

    Final day's judgement?
    On the penultimate day the riders will be served the final mountain stage, the second finish line that is drawn at a beyond category climb. If the overall leader still hasn't a gap big enough, there can be a final judgement in the last stage. The final stage is an individual time trial of 9.7 kilometers. If the overall standings are being contested within seconds, it could get very exciting for red leader jersey!
    Stages

    Stage 1: Saturday 23rd of August: Jerez de la Frontera - Jerez de la Frontera (12.6 km) (TTT)
    Stage 2: Sunday 24th of August: Algeciras - San Fernando (174.4 km)
    Stage 3: Monday 25th of August: Cádiz - Arcos de la Frontera (197.8 km)
    Stage 4: Tuesday of 26th August: Mairena del Alcor - Córdoba (164.7 km)
    Stage 5: Wednesday 27th of August: Priego de Córdoba - Ronda (180 km)
    Stage 6: Thursday 28th August: Benalmádena - La Zubia (167.1 km)
    Stage 7: Friday 29th of August: Alhendín - Alcaudete (169 km)
    Stage 8: Saturday 30th August: Baeza - Albacete (207 km)
    Stage 9: Sunday 31st of August: Carboneras de Guadazaón - Aramón Valdelinares (185 km)
    Rest day 1: Monday of 1st September
    Stage 10: Tuesday 2nd of September: Real Monasterio de Santa María de Veruela - Borja (36.7 km) (ITT)
    Stage 11: Wednesday 3rd of September: Pamplona - Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar (153.4 km)
    Stage 12: Thursday 4th of September: Logroño - Logroño (166.4 km)
    Stage 13: Friday 5th of September: Belorado - Obregón. Parque de Cabárceno (188.7 km)
    Stage 14: Saturday 6th of September: Santander - La Camperona. Valle de Sabero (200.8 km)
    Stage 15: Sunday 7th of September: Oviedo - Lagos de Covadonga (152.2 km)
    Stage 16: Monday 8th of September: San Martín del Rey Aurelio - La Farrapona. Lagos de Somiedo (160.5 km)
    Rest day 2: Tuesday 9th of September
    Stage 17: Wednesday 10th of September: Ortigueira - A Coruña (190.7 km)
    Stage 18: Thursday 11th of September: A Estrada - Monte Castrove. Meis (157 km)
    Stage 19: Friday 12th of September: Salvaterra do Miño - Cangas do Morrazo (180.5 km)
    Stage 20: Saturday 13th of September: Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil - Puerto de Ancares (185.7 km)
    Stage 21: Sunday 14th of September: Santiago de Compostela - Santiago de Compostela. El Final del Camino (9.7 km) (ITT)

     

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  • Wellens wins Eneco Tour!

    17 august 2014 - 21:08

    Tim Wellens has won the tenth edition of the Eneco Tour. After his fantastic stage win of yesterday the entire Lotto Belisol team defended the leader's jersey of the young rider, who could stand on the podium as the overall winner; the first WorldTour overall victory for Lotto Belisol.

    Before the stage the situation was clear: Wellens had to keep an eye on Lars Boom and Tom Dumoulin first of all and don't give them any space. Also the wind promised to play its part in Dutch and Belgian Limburg, on a course that had similarities to the Amstel Gold Race, with many turns and 22 hills.

    It took about fifteen kilometers before a front group of 20 riders was formed. Julien Vermote was the best ranked rider in GC, at more than six minutes of Wellens, so he wasn't a big threat. The escapees also took the bonification seconds, so Boom and Dumoulin didn't get the opportunity to get closer. The gap rose up to 5'20" after 80 kilometers, while Lotto Belisol, with among other Dockx and Sieberg, set the pace in the peloton.

    With the final coming up it was Belkin, as expected, that took the initiative, but the two attempts to make echelons weren't successful; Wellens and his teammates were racing really attentively. Behind the back of Roelandts and Vanendert Wellens saw the distance to the finish getting smaller, the peloton had been considerably reduced. In front it was Van Keirsbulck who attacked with 15 kilometers to go. The rider of OPQS set a strong performance and rode solo to the victory. On the last hill BMC tried, together with Boom and Dumoulin, to attack Wellens one last time, but Tim responded to all their moves. In the final kilometers the danger had gone.

    Tim Wellens, overall winner Eneco Tour: "Before this weekend I had never won a race yet, so this is definitely the highlight of my career so far. A WorldTour victory in Belgium is really special. Many people cheered for me along the way, start town Riemst is at 20 kilometers from my parents' house."

    "Before the stage there was more attention for the danger of the wind than for Boom and Dumoulin. The way the team performed today is fantastic. I could actually be relaxed in the wheel of Sieberg first and than that of Roelandts. Belkin tried to make an echelon twice, but we never had problems. We were really focused and only on the last hill Boom and Dumoulin tried to force something."

    "Two days before the start I went to see the team doctor because I was ill. We postponed the decision to start and of course I'm very pleased I did start. The beginning of the week was difficult for the team, but as of Friday I started believing there were opportunities. And with Jelle Vanendert I had a teammate who was really strong as well."

    "The opportunities me and other young Belgian riders get wouldn't be there without the immense support of Lotto. The different projects with which they give chances to young riders to develop their talent brought me to where I am today. The Belgian cycling project, with the support of so many Belgian partners, is indispensable for our cycling sport."

    "This victory doesn't mean I will start as a favourite in the next one-day races of the WorldTour, but I'm eager to perform well in Plouay - working for the team - Québec, Montréal and Lombardia."

    Herman Frison, sports director: "It was predicted not to be an easy day, but the guys did their job perfectly. You see what a leader's jersey does to a team. Riders like Sieberg and Dockx didn't get their ideal course but rode a hell of a race. I think we rode our best race of the season collectively. But I was only certain when he had actually crossed the finish line."

    "With Tim a Belgian rider wins the only Belgian World Tour stage race, in a cycling country like ours. On top of that he comes from our own development project, in which it's our vision and that of the sponsors to offer opportunities to young riders; the way he did this is really nice. Maybe races like Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico are of another level, but when you look at the attractiveness you can rate the Eneco Tour higher than País Vasco, Catalunya or Romandie I think."

    "This week didn't start well. Roelandts didn't feel well on day one and got dropped, Debusschere had diarrhea a day later and our team got surprised by a split in the peloton and Thursday Greipel had to abandon due to illness and go home without a stage win. I know him, if he leaves the race he really isn't feeling well. Tim stood at 49" and Jelle at more than a minute, so a place between five and ten in GC looked the highest possible. But Friday was a change for us. Jens joined a break, Jelle and Tim moved up in GC and the performance of Tim on Saturday was really great."

    "Saturday the Vuelta begins and the next few weeks there are five more WorldTour one-day races programmed. We have to continue this way and with guys like Greipel, Roelandts, Wellens, Vanendert and Gallopin we definitely aim for points."

    The stage win and overall victory of Tim Wellens yield him and the team 106 WorldTour points, so with 452 points the team jumps from the sixteenth to the thirteenth place.


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  • 30% discount in our e-shop!

    18 august 2014 - 19:08

    Buy a Lotto Belisol outfit in our e-shop with a discount of 30%!

    Do you also want to go out on your bike in the retro shirt of Lotto Belisol? Surf to our e-shop. You can also buy a pair of shorts. And for rainy rides on the bike you can rely on the jacket. And what do you think of a pair of Lotto Belisol socks? There's also a discount on the fan items, like postcards and race hats. We also have leisure wear to offer, sweaters for example.

    Don't' miss out on this action!

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  • Buy a champion's jersey!

    7 august 2014 - 11:08

    As from today, August 7, until Tuesday the 12th of August you get the unique opportunity to buy a version of the Belgian champion's jersey of Jens Debusschere or of the German champion's jersey of André Greipel! A jersey costs 65€ of which 10€ will be donated to Make-A-Wish, the wish-granting organization Lotto Belisol supports this year.

    Do you want to order one or more jerseys? Send an e-mail to fan@lottobelisol.be with your name, address, phone number and size. Delivery will be around the 10th of September.

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  • Download the new wallpaper!

    29 july 2014 - 12:07

    In July we provide you with four new wallpapers! From now on you can download the last one.

    Go to our multimedia page.

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