Roelandts and Debusschere extend with Lotto Belisol
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Roelandts and Debusschere extend with Lotto Belisol

by VeloNation Press at 11:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Belgian team continues on with familiar faces

Jurgen RoelandtsStage winner in the Tour of the Mediterranean and third in the Tour of Flanders, Jurgen Roelandts’ fine spring has led to him being offered a new contract with the Lotto Belisol team. The 27 year old Belgian has extended for a further two years, remaining as part of the WorldTour squad.

Given his progress plus his relative youth, it’s possible he can win one of the sport’s top one day events in the coming seasons. He affirmed that he will continue to concentrate on this area. “It’s important to me that, at Lotto Belisol, I can take my chance in the Classics. My focus stays on the Flemish spring races for the next few years,” he said. “Last year I was out for four months and I missed the first part of the season, but the team immediately gave me confidence when I returned in competition and selected me for the Tour de France.”

He is part of the setup which helps Andre Greipel to his victories and acknowledges the team’s strength in this area. “We have an excellent sprint train. There are hardly any other teams that can ride such a strong two to three final kilometres,” he said. “Of course that motivates us, especially for the upcoming Tour.

“It’s a nice group here at Lotto Belisol, we have fun. Because I’m already riding here for several years I also have bonded with the whole staff and if you’re feeling good in a group, you’ll perform better.”

Team manager Marc Sergeant sees the signing as an important one after two other big riders indicated that they will stay on board. “After the extended stay of André Greipel – and the running contract of Jurgen Van den Broeck – we hold on to another key figure,” he said.

Sergeant points out that Roelandts is in his sixth season and that there is further room for progress ahead. He also sees him as an example to the young riders on the squad.

“As a 23-year-old rider he arrived at the team, he got the chance to develop himself and as a leader he’s an important part of our team. In the first part of the season the team stands behind him as one,” he said. “He has an
important role in the sprint train. Also in the final part of the season we can rely on him.

Aside from Greipel, Marcel Sieberg also extended his deal recently. The news today of Roelandts’ decision to do so has now also been echoed by a contract extension for Jens Debusschere.

The latter has been with the squad since he made his pro debut two years ago. Winner in 2007 in the junior Tour of Flanders, he was fourth this season on stages of the Tour de San Luis and Paris-Nice. At 23 years of age the team is clear that he he can continue to build his strength and plamares.

“Ever since the first year the team has believed in me. There is appreciation from both sides. I have never thought about riding elsewhere,” he said. “I feel good at Lotto Belisol and the team offers me a lot of opportunities. I get the chance to search my way; I can participate in the Classics as well as getting a go in the sprint. It’s good that I can try everything. That’s what I need.”

According to Sergeant, his future could be a very successful one. “This season he showed in Ghent-Wevelgem and other races that in the future he might play a prominent role in the Classics,” he said. “Also in the races where he can take his own chance, like Dwars door Vlaanderen this year, we count on him. And he isn’t slow at the finish; especially when there is a finish with a small group, he has opportunities.”


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