Today the Tour of Belgium starts in Mechelen, a five day tour in which André Greipel and Jürgen Roelandts will be starting for Lotto Belisol. It's an important tour for the Belgian formation on its own territory, having the ambition to battle for stage victory.
André Greipel: "The Tour of Belgium is important for me, but also for the team and sponsors. In the first three races the sprinters will have their chance to win and in these races that will be our objective. It's unclear what the time trial and day five will bring, we ‘ll have to wait and see. This tour is the first in a work-up to the Tour de France, but I don't want to minimalize the importance of it. For the first time in a long while we now are a sprinting machine and we hope we will be able to show it. I'm very happy with the return of Jürgen at the team and the fact that he can be a strong force in our machine."
Jürgen Roelandts: " It's a good thing that I was able to race again last Saturday, being able to clear some doubts. The first turns I took felt very unnatural, but I grew in the race and in the end, I battled for victory. I never panicked over the last few months, because it wouldn't have helped me in any way. My safety en healthy are still my priority; become a rider again was the next step. I feel like I'm ready again to mingle into the action. From here on, I'm working up to the Tour de France. With Jurgen, André and also Jelle we have lots of options. The Belgian Championship? Of course it would be very nice to shine in that race (laughs). I just hope I'll be able to end the Tour well and to have a good period afterwards. Races like Plouay, Quebec and Montréal are my kind of races and I will probably have some reserves at that moment. Anyhow, the hunger to race is big."
Selection Lotto Belisol: Sander Cordeel, Jens Debusschere, Kenny Dehaes, André Greipel, Greg Henderson, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Jurgen Van de Walle.
Kenny Dehaes will be replacing Frederik Willems, who returned from the Tour of Norway with a fever.