Lotto-Belisol trusting in its young guns in Dwars door Vlaanderen
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lotto-Belisol trusting in its young guns in Dwars door Vlaanderen

by Ben Atkins at 4:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
Jens Debusschere to lead Belgian WorldTour squad in Flemish semi-Classic

jens debusschereWith many of its experienced Classics riders keeping their powder dry for March 31st’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, Lotto-Belisol will be blooding many of its younger riders in tomorrow’s Dwars door Vlaanderen. The Belgian WorldTour squad will be led by Jens Debusschere, who hopes he can capitalise on a steady performance in Paris-Nice earlier this month.

“My ambition for tomorrow is to finish as high as possible, although a place in the top ten would already be great,” said Debusschere. “I started the season with a good condition but because of illness I couldn’t go full on in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Thanks to riding Paris-Nice my condition is good again, so for me the spring classics can begin.”

The oldest member of Lotto-Belisol’s eight-man line up will be 29-year-old Dutchman Dirk Bellemakers, but most of his seven Belgian teammates are just 23 or 24. These relatively inexperienced riders expect to play their part in Wednesday’s race, however.

“Everyone in Lotto Belisol may take their chance tomorrow and partly ride their own race,” he explained. “Especially Gaëtan Bille and Kenny Dehaes were good in the Handzame Classic [Dehaes won the race - ed] and I think that they, and I, are capable of setting a good result.”

The course of Dwars door Vlaanderen covers almost 200km, crossing three stretches of cobblestones and climbing 13 Flemish bergs; many of which will be used in the Ronde van Vlaanderen a week and a half later.
“Dwars door Vlaanderen is a hard race every year, because of the amount of kilometres and the course,” Debusschere explained. “This year we have cold weather on top, that will influence the race as well. Many top riders stay away from Dwars door Vlaanderen and that will make it an open race where a lot of riders can win.

“Someone who’s always having a chance in this kind of races is Sylvain Chavanel, he added, “although it’s waiting to see how well he’s recovered from Milan-Sanremo.”

[Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Chavanel has withdrawn from the race, in which he finished second last year, with a cold he contracted in Sunday’s race - ed]

Lotto-Belisol team for Dwars door Vlaanderen
Dirk Bellmakers, Gaëten Bille, Sander Cordeel, Kenny Dehaes, Jens Debusschere, Maarten Neyens, Frederique Robert, Tosh Van Der Sande


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