De Panne: Greipel and Kittel head Lotto Belisol and Argos Shimano teams
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

De Panne: Greipel and Kittel head Lotto Belisol and Argos Shimano teams

by VeloNation Press at 7:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Riders to clash in advance of Ronde van Vlaanderen

Andre GreipelSprinters Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel have both been put forward by their respective Lotto Belisol and Argos Shimano teams as leaders for the Three Days of De Panne – Koksijde, which begins today in Middelkerke and will see the duo plus other strong finishers go head to head.

Although the first stage goes over thirteen climbs, Lotto Belisol directeur sportif Bart Leysen believes that Greipel can be there in the finale, fighting for a big result.

“André Greipel is our leader,” he underlined. “The first stage, into the Flemish Ardennes, is always the toughest one. But André has proven in the past that he can cope with this kind of course and can play along in the final. It will depend on how many of our men will be there, because there definitely will be a selection.

“We have to make the race and probably also Tosh Van der Sande can play his part in this stage. Of course it’s always [a case of] waiting to see how a stage develops, but we will play the cards of André and Tosh. The second stage will probably end in a bunch sprint, there are a lot of sprinter’s teams at the start.”

He added that the team wants at least one stage victory in the race.

Tomorrow’s stage runs 199.8 kilomeres to Zottegem, with a flatter stage to follow tomorrow between Oudenaarde and Koksijde. The final day will be split in two, with the riders doing a 112.6 kilometre road stage in De Panne, and then a 14.75 kilometre afternoon time trial.

Argos Shimano will also pin its hopes on two riders; Marcel Kittel, who will likely go head to head with Greipel, Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick Step) and others, and also Tom Dumoulin.

“Although Marcel was a bit sick last week, we will still count on him in the sprints, especially in the second and third stages,” said sporting manager Marc Reef. “In addition to the sprints, we have with Tom Dumoulin a man who is in shape and who has the ability to ride a strong general classification.”

The race is a final tune up prior to this coming weekend’s Ronde van Vlaanderen.


Three Days of De Panne – Koksijde:

Stage 1: Tuesday 26th of March, Middelkerke – Zottegem (199.8 km)
Stage 2 : Wednesday 27th of March, Oudenaarde – Koksijde (204.2 km)
Stage 3a: Thursday 28th of March, De Panne – De Panne (112.6 km)
Stage 3b: Thursday 28th of March, De Panne – Koksijde – De Panne time trial (14.75 km)


Lotto Belisol: Kenny Dehaes, André Greipel, Greg Henderson, Maarten Neyens, Vicente Reynes, Fréderique Robert, Tosh Van der Sande en Jonas Van Genechten

Argos Shimano: Nikias Arndt, Roy Curvers, Tom Dumoulin, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Marcel Kittel, Luka Mezgec, Tom Veelers

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