• Heart's desire of Steven fulfilled

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  • 21/04: Belisolpijl and Lotto Belisol fan day

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  • Preview Amstel Gold Race

    18 april 2014 - 21:04

    Sunday the first of three consecutive WorldTour climb classics takes place: the Amstel Gold Race. The start of the 251.1 kilometers long race is given in Maastricht. After 54 kilometers there's the first of four passages on the Cauberg. By then already five hills will have been covered. There are 34 climbs in total on the route, that make about 4000 height meters. The Cauberg returns at 88 and 20 kilometers from the end. After the penultimate ascent the Geulhemmerberg and Bemelerberg are next. Finally the riders have to get over the Cauberg one more time. Since last year the finish lies 1.8 kilometers after the top.

    Lotto Belisol goes to the Amstel with a strong team, with men like Bart De Clercq, Tony Gallopin, Jurgen Van den Broeck and Jelle Vanendert. Dutchman Pim Ligthart can also show himself in the only WorldTour one day race of his home country. The riders that will battle with them on the way to Valkenburg for the victory in the 49th Amstel Gold Race are first of all last year's winner Roman Kreuziger and Philippe Gilbert, who was the best in 2010 and 2011. Also Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez will stand at the start.

    Better than last year
    Jelle Vanendert
    : "The Vuelta al País Vasco was the ideal preparation for me with the upcoming Ardennes classics. There was a high pace the whole time and that was good to get race rhythm. I want to ride the final of the Amstel. In 2012 I became second. Last year I was part of the group that battled for the second place behind winner Kreuziger and then I got 13th. So it can all be close together. I'm better now than at this point last season. Since last year the finish doesn't lie on the Cauberg anymore, but if you're away with a group that doesn't have to be a disadvantage. You don't have to be the best puncher to win. Within the team we don't have an exact hierarchy yet, tomorrow we will have a team meeting. The best would be that we can enter the final with three riders. We are different types of riders, with different qualities and we have to make the correct choice on the moment of truth. Tony Gallopin has fast legs as an extra weapon for example."

    The course suits me
    Tony Gallopin
    : "The Amstel should suit me best, but because of circumstances I wasn't able to perform as well as I wanted in my past two participations in 2011 and 2013. That the finish now lies after the top of the Cauberg is an advantage. The Brabantse Pijl has taught me that something's possible for Sunday. I don't think you should ride the Vuelta al País Vasco as preparation for the Ardennes classics if that isn't your only focus. I'm also the type of rider for races like Milan-Sanremo, the E3 Harelbeke and Tour of Flanders. After that I took some rest. I've already got the long distance in my legs, that can be an advantage as well. At this moment in my career I can't do any big predictions, I aim for top ten."

    Podium as a goal
    Jurgen Van den Broeck
    : "I rode the Vuelta al País Vasco and Brabantse Pijl. In Spain I got the feeling I can take part in the races again. The Brabantse Pijl has given a boost to the entire team because we set a strong collective performance and didn't miss any break. We have to go into the final with at least three riders. I'm not a puncher. If we get over the Cauberg with a group or I start at the foot of the Cauberg with a gap there are chances. The race will be successful for the team if we set a good result, have made the race, have been spared from bad luck and stood there as a team. A top ten place is important to score points, but we have to aim for a podium place."

    Selection Lotto Belisol: Bart De Clercq, Tony Gallopin, Pim Ligthart, Jurgen Van den Broeck, Tosh Van der Sande, Dennis Vanendert, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.

    Sports directors: Herman Frison and Bart Leysen.

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  • Gallopin on the podium

    16 april 2014 - 20:04

    Philippe Gilbert has won the Brabantse Pijl today. He sprinted faster than Michael Matthews in Overijse. Tony Gallopin took a nice third place. Early in the race six riders got in the lead: Quemeneur, Pozzo, Brandle, Cecchinel, Williams and Reijnen. They got a maximal advantage of six and a half minute.

    Van den Broeck opens the final
    With over 70 kilometers to go Jurgen Van den Broeck decided to open the race. Together with Julien Vermote, Pieter Serry and Julien Alaphilippe he tried to bridge the gap to the six leaders. But when entering the two last laps it was over for the four chasers.

    Tosh Van der Sande shows himself
    The tempo kept going up. After several attacks ten riders got some space, one of them was Tosh Van der Sande. Also Leukemans and Gerrans were part of the group. Gilbert was aware of the danger and jumped from the peloton to the front. Eventually it was all for nothing and it came back together at eleven kilometers from the end. About 30 riders began the final kilometer together. The race would end with a group sprint. Philippe Gilbert won that sprint, Matthews got second and Gallopin third.

    Podium for Gallopin after a chase
    Lotto Belisol aimed for a podium place. With the third place of Tony Gallopin the team can look back with satisfaction. More wasn't probably possible for the Frenchman. At 25 kilometers from the end Gallopin had to chase after a puncture. He only joined the group with seven kilometers to go.

    Tony Gallopin: "Considering the race developments I'm very satisfied with my third place. I had a puncture at 25 kilometers from the finish. On the same place of the course as last year. Honestly, I thought my race was over. Because of the succession of hills the race never stopped. I had to return from behind the team cars, but eventually I could pass one group after another and that way I could take my place back in front. Thanks to the teammates I joined the first group just before the last climb, not a moment too early."

    Hat's off for the team
    "When I joined the peloton I still wanted to try to set a good result. In the sprint I had to give away about ten meters to winner Gilbert and Matthews, but considering the chase I had done the third place was the highest possible result. But still hat's off for the teammates. Everyone did what was expected of him. I thought we were good and with Van den Broeck who opened the race and Van der Sande who joined a break we always had someone in front."

    Curious for Liège
    "With the Walloon classics in mind I chose to take some rest after the Tour of Flanders. I could use this Brabantse Pijl as last step-up to the next races. I'm especially curious to see how far I can come in a race like Liège-Bastogne-Liège where all toppers stand at the start. I definitely have got the motivation and the necessary confidence after my third place today."

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  • Preview Brabantse Pijl

    15 april 2014 - 11:04

    The cobblestone classics are over. Now it's up to the climbers in the peloton. With the Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday the second part of the cycling spring starts. The Brabantse Pijl starts in Leuven and finishes in Overijse after 203 kilometers. First the riders get 133 kilometers with eleven hills. The most known hills of that part are no doubt the Bruine Put and Alsemberg.

    When the riders pass the finish in Overijse for the first time, three laps of just over 24 kilometers are yet to be covered. In those local laps they have to ride over five more hills, among other the IJskelderlaan and Hagaard. The last climb before the finish, the Schavei, is 700 meters long and has an average gradient of 5.6%.

    Last year Peter Sagan won, he's not participating now. Philippe Gilbert will start, the number two of 2013. Also Thomas Voeckler, Simon Gerrans and Wout Poels belong to the top favourites.

    No race yet for De Clercq
    The Lotto Belisol squad is led by Tony Gallopin and Jurgen Van den Broeck. Bart De Clercq and Jelle Vanendert won't ride on Wednesday yet. They prepare for the upcoming races. Tim Wellens is sick and won't start.

    Bart Leysen, sports director: "When will I be satisfied? We have a team that's good uphill. Considering the qualities of our men we aim for a podium place. Some guys have just returned for the Vuelta al País Vasco. The question is if they will have recovered enough. Tony Gallopin is the one who ought to be the most fresh physically. But as I said, we have other strong riders in the team."

    We have to race offensively
    "I'm convinced we have to race offensively. Only that way we can strive for a good result. Men like Ligthart or Van der Sande can early open up the real race. When someone of us is part of the break Gallopin and Van den Broeck can keep quiet in the peloton and the team then doesn't have any pressure."

    "The past has shown the decision usually is made in the local laps. I expect that won't be different this year. It will be an elimination race again in which every climb at the end will hurt. That's why it's important we have a guy in front."

    Selection Lotto Belisol: Sander Armée, Kris Boeckmans, Sean De Bie, Tony Gallopin, Pim Ligthart, Jurgen Van den Broeck, Tosh Van der Sande, Dennis Vanendert

    Sports director: Bart Leysen

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  • Heart's desire of Steven fulfilled

    18 april 2014 - 11:04

    Last Wednesday the heart's desire of the 18-year-old Steven from Turnhout was fulfilled, thanks to Make-A-Wish and in cooperation with Lotto Belisol. Steven has mucoviscidose, but it's his big dream to climb a mountain with a real race bike. Steven was invited by Lotto Belisol on the occasion of the Brabantse Pijl. Annelies Van Soom is part of the wish team of Make-A-Wish and helped to fulfill the dream of Steven.

     

    Jurgen Van den Broeck gave a cycling outfit
    Annelies Van Soom, volunteer at Make-A-Wish
    : "In the morning we picked up Steven, his parents and sister at their home. From there we went to the hotel where Lotto Belisol stayed. Steven could have breakfast with the riders. Jurgen Van den Broeck gave him a complete cycling outfit. Steven also got the chance to inspect the fleet: the team cars, team bus and truck with all the material. In a VIP car we followed the Lotto Belisol caravan to the start in Leuven. There we walked around the different team busses. We had a very good spot at the podium where all the riders came to sign and watched the start from nearby."

    Visit to Ridley Bikes
    "Then we had lunch in a Chinese restaurant, that's the favourite food of Steven. Afterwards he could step in a Ferrari that brought him to the factory of Ridley Bikes. There the measurements were done for the race bike he gets. In a few weeks it will be officially handed over. He also got a tour in the company, so he could see the entire production process. He's very fond of technique so that pleased him. Then he could go back in the Ferrari and we bought some accessories like a bike computer. That way Steven is fully equipped to train and eventually climb a mountain. He was overwhelmed and surprised with this day and very happy with all what was foreseen for him."

    It's all about the child
    "The child is central on such a day and we want to plan it with all things they're fond of. We set a date with the parents. Also to them we don't tell what's going to happen, so they can't give away any tips. We fulfill about 170 wishes per year. The partnership with Lotto Belisol is very important to us. It's very nice what they have realized for Steven, something like that makes it unique for the children. For our organization it's also great sponsoring and it helps to spread our name."

    Lotto Belisol supports Make-A-Wish
    Arne Houtekier, PR and communication manager Lotto Belisol
    : "Lotto Belisol gets many requests to support charity. It's not always easy to make a selection. This year we've chosen to support Make-A-Wish. The baseline of the team is ‘Live Your Dream' and that's closely linked with the mission of Make-A-Wish, which fulfills the heart's desires of children between three and eighteen years with a life-threatening illness. Lotto Belisol gladly helps to make those dreams come true. We want to do that in three ways. Wednesday at the Brabantse Pijl we helped to fulfill a heart's desire by inviting Steven to a race and offering him a complete outfit. Many thanks to our sponsors Ridley Bikes, Lazer and Gaerne for the bike, helmet, glasses and shoes. We also want to support Make-A-Wish in the field of communication and put the organization in the picture. Certain occasions we want to use to raise money for this good cause. The proceeds of the Belisolpijl of next Monday will go to Make-A-Wish."

    About Make-A-Wish®: this organization of volunteers grants children, aged between 3 and 18 who are living with a life-threatening illness, their fondest wishes. Our intention is to give these children and their families an unforgettable moment in the midst of all their worries, doubts, despair and sorrow. Away from clinics, doctors and treatments we wish to give them courage for the uncertain future which lies ahead. http://www.makeawish.be/

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • 21/04: Belisolpijl and LTB fan day

    10 april 2014 - 11:04

    Participate in the Belisolpijl in Roeselare on Monday 21st of April and come to the Lotto Belisol fan day afterwards! An ideal outing on Easter Monday.

    For the third year in a row the Belisolpijl is being organized. You can participate in one of the three tours, together with some of the Lotto Belisol riders! There's a family tour of 25 kilometers, which you can start between 10:00 and 11:30. The rides of 75 and 105 kilometers can be started from 7:30 till 10:00. Our riders leave at about 9:30. Taking part in one of the tours costs 5 euro. The proceeds of the Belisolpijl go to Make a Wish, the good cause Lotto Belisol supports this year. If you register for the Belisolpijl beforehand you get a Lotto Belisol gift!

    After your ride you can come and visit the Lotto Belisol fan day where everybody is welcome as of 9:00. Meet among other Maxime Monfort, Jürgen Roelandts, Jens Debusschere and Kenny Dehaes. You can take a look in the team bus, truck and team cars.

    Do you want a photo with one of the riders, have a bite to eat at the pasta bar or drink something on the terrace, then definitely come visit us!

    Register for the Belisolpijl: http://www.belisolpijl.be/2014/schrijf-in-voor-de-belisolpijl-2014

    Surf to the website of the fan day: http://www.fandaylottobelisol.be/

    Place to be: Belisol magazijn, Liebeekstraat 10 - 8800 Roeselare

     

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  • Bike assistance of Callant

    4 april 2014 - 16:04

    Lotto Belisol partner and insurance company Callant Verzekeringen launches a new service: the bike assistance. People with an electric bike go further away from home, but in case of bad luck or an accident you often can't repair the bike yourself. That's why there is the bike assistance of Callant!

    Filip Demyttenaere, Callant Verzekeringen: "Someone who has bad luck along his route, has an accident or if the bike gets stolen and you can't continue your ride, you can contact us. That's why we extend our service. Next to the bike omnium we also want to offer assistance in case of bad luck, accident or theft. A reliable network of assistants is ready to help. The bike will be made ready on the spot to continue your ride. If that's not possible the bike and cyclist are brought back to the start place. That can be home or the car. The new service is offered in Belgium and even up to 15 kilometers outside of the borders."

    More info: www.callant-fietsbijstand.be

     

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