Jelle Vanendert looking for opportunities in Lotto-Belisol Tour of Poland team
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Jelle Vanendert looking for opportunities in Lotto-Belisol Tour of Poland team

by Ben Atkins at 11:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Poland
Belgian building successful comeback after parasitic infection ruled out Tour de France

jelle vanendertJelle Vanendert will lead the Lotto-Belisol team to the Tour of Poland, which starts tomorrow. The 28-year-old Belgian was ruled out of the Tour de France team with a parasitic infection in his digestive system, but has recovered well enough to start the eight-day WorldTour race. He finished the tough Tour de Wallonie this week, and declares himself ready for the Polish race, which begins with two days in the mountains of northern Italy.

“The Tour de Wallonie went well, especially since it was my comeback,” Vanendert said. “It was definitely not great, but that’s logical if you have been out of competition for such a long time. I don’t have problems with my stomach anymore, I think those are over. In the Tour de Pologne I’ll have to see how I have recovered from the Tour de Wallonie, there are only two days in between and one of them is a travel day.

“The course is tough immediately,” he explained. “I hope to get well through the first two stages and we’ll see what comes next. I don’t do predictions about the GC, I first want to see how I recover. The course in Poland looks like that in the Ardennes, so I should have opportunities.”

Like the rest of the teams in the race, Lotto-Belisol will number just six riders as the International Cycling Union (UCI) experiments with trying to make the racing more dymanic. This is not something Vanendert necessarily agrees with, however.

“The UCI wants to test in the Tour de Pologne how a stage develops with only six riders in a team,” he said. ‘That will make it a very hard race because it’s more difficult to control and it will be tougher to defend the leader’s jersey. For the viewers it will make the race more animated and for the peloton it will be tougher now and then. About the time bonuses, I don’t think it should be too much; whoever crosses the finish line first, should be able to take the most time.

“There can be bonification seconds along the route, but it should be limited.”

Lotto-Belisol team for the Tour of Poland
Dirk Bellemakers, Francis De Greef, Vicente Reynes, Tosh Van der Sande, Dennis Vanendert and Jelle Vanendert.


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