Cycling Sports

Supervorm of Benoot of Lotto-Soudal for confidence: “We are certainly not with a B-team to the start”

Lotto Soudal start Sunday with a battered team in the Tour of Flanders (WorldTour). A noodploeg, well-known manager Marc Sergeant in a local Newspaper. But directeur sportif Herman Frison is, however, optimistic. “Tiesj Benoot, we have one of the favorites on board,” was the Friday during the traditional press conference two days before the ronde.

Also Nikolas Maes should be forced to give up after illness: Lotto-Soudal with noodploeg to the Tour of Flanders

No Nikolas Maes (ill), Jens Keukeleire (ill) and Andre Greipel (broken collarbone) in the selection of Lotto Soudal for the Tour of Flanders. A loss, but no reason to whine, Frison. “We should not talk about who is not there”, it sounds. “I am sure that we have six strong riders at the start that Tiesj can help. Over the past years we were not always with a strong leader at the start, but this year is clearly the case. And that was no different as André, Jens and Nikolas there were. I read somewhere that we will have a B-team at the start, but I think that’s baloney. A B-team does not exist for us.”

That Tiesj Benoot this spring, all resource, amaze Sprinter not at all. “The way he is the Strade Bianche won, I found, of course, impressive. But that Tiesj steps forward would put it, it is not surprising. Together with Tim Wellens we have in Tiesj all of the youth invested a lot and that pays off now. Tiesj will get the time to develop and that is necessary. Not every young talent is a new Sagan. Together with his trainer has Tiesj also for a different approach and run-up to the classics selected and all preliminary beautiful in the crease.”

Especially the way Benoot over the past weeks races, the directeur sportif. “We have for the season said that we would like to offensively like quotes and Tiesj has that mindset,” says Frison. “We try sometimes to control, but he has his temper, and that is beautiful. Last year koerste he is waiting in the Round, realized that he himself also. And now has Tiesj clear the button is turned. There is his victory in the Strade Bianche is the most beautiful example of this.”

Last year, Quick-Step Floors for a very open and attractive Tour of Flanders. Frison does not exclude that the debates also early Sunday to be opened. “It is quite possible. They have shown that they are strong enough for the race to make and that they will also be Sunday. A large number one favourite is not there, I see a dozen contenders. Including Tiesj. Happiness you have always needed, but the cards are this year, but good enough for us. And then everything is possible. By his second place in the WorldTour ranking, we may as a second car start. Also that is a compliment. That Tiesj will find that he only needs to arrive as Sunday he wants to win? I understand it as he says this, but he may not always win in a sprint. Certainly not in a race as the Tour of Flanders.”

Benoot: “A pronounced, well-liked, there is not”

Tiesj Benoot is certainly ready. The young Belgian has his best spring ever, and hopes after a win in Strade Bianche in the ronde harvest. “I count myself one of the favorites, but a definite top favourite is not there,” he says two days before the race.

Tiesj Benoot surprised at the beginning of march a friend and enemy by an impressive demonstration of the Strade Bianche to win. Ten days later, he fell in fourth place but just next to the Tirreno-stage. With a strong start of the season could Benoot carefree toeleven to the kasseiklassiekers. “That victory in the Strade is a world of difference and helped me both rest and trust concerned”, told Benoot Friday during a press conference in Kasterlee. “That confidence, I can currently combine with good legs and you can see that to my way of quotes. I have a lot of meaning in. The Tour of Flanders is, for me, is still the course of the year. All of my friends to come and watch.”

Over the last few weeks showed Benoot with a fifth place at E3 Harelbeke and a seventh place in Dwars door Vlaanderen that the vormcurve certainly not falling. “I have my best condition ever. I’m convinced of it. Wednesday in Dwars door Vlaanderen, I felt certainly as strong as in Strade Bianche and better than in E3 Harelbeke. I think I have Sunday my highest level will pick up and I have nothing left to chance. To the specific program that in winter we have mapped out, I have perfectly kept. And there plucked I, this spring, the fruits of all of this.”

As a major competitor Sunday sees Benoot especially the block of Quick-Step Floors. “They are the beat team and get from me five stars, with Sagan just below. That is also really good”, sounds. “But individually I feel just as strong. I think I me as a favorite it. Thinking about how I block the Quick-Step beat, I do not. I don’t need to be about possible scenarios to speculate. There are different ways possible to win. Sometimes it is better to attack itself to the tactical game to avoid. As I Wednesday in Dwars door Vlaanderen did. If there is someone of Quick-Step aanpikte, we were maybe ahead.”

With Sagan and Van Avermaet, there is also a number of fast men, among the other favorites. That realizes also Benoot. “If I want to win, I best only. Of course it is a sprint after such a contest, not a typical sprint, but still. I avoid the rather. I also don’t like the low speed you are with a small group of a sprint drive. It is also not true that you on the Paterberg must drive off if you only want to finish the race. Also in the last kilometres, you can still the decisive attack places. The Tour of Flanders, in any case the advantage that it is in the final, especially man-to-man. Give me a long final.”

ALSO READ: Tiesj Benoot explains all the pressure in the Quick-Step: “The favorites are all with them”

Debusschere: “Extra motivation to take a step to cross”

Faith in leader Benoot is great. Even with teammate Jens Debusschere, who Sunday, the job gets to be leader for as long as possible. “I hope in the final a significant role to play in Tiesj.”

Through the elimination of schaduwkopman Jens Keukeleire and strong men, André Greipel and Nikolas Maes gets Jens Debusschere extra pressure on the shoulders. “But with the feeling that I have now, I need a final drive Sunday,” says the 28-year-old West-Vlaming during a press conference in Kasterlee. “It’s true that some men miss that long could last, but that’s just for extra motivation to take a step to cross. It will be especially to Jasper (De Buyst, eds.) and I have to Tiesj as long as possible. And, hopefully, longer than Wednesday in Straight for Flanders because he was still rather early.”

With a fifth place in the Three-day Bruges-De Panne and Ghent-Wevelgem showed Debusschere his good form and value for Lotto Soudal. “I feel good and am especially glad that I not am sick. Which is a lot in this period. Thursday, I during the exploration a few times firmly and pulled to the right feeling. And that is successful. Especially in Gent-Wevelgem I felt good on the way.”

That Benoot in very good to do, his team mate only agree. “It is my fourth Tour of Flanders and I don’t think I ever started am with such a strong leader,” says Debusschere. “I was there when Jurgen Roelandts finished third, but then we have anticipated, and tactically a very strong race was held. Tiesj is with his current form in to yourself on the crucial points to make the difference. I even think that there are many other favorites to it will look. This year We have the winner Tiesj seen and you’ll notice that there is a way of quotes. He must Sunday, especially his own course.”

Selection Lotto Soudal:

Tiesj Benoot, Jens Debusschere, Jasper De Buyst, Marcel Sieberg, Lars Bak, Jelle Wallays, Frederik Frison

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