WorldTeam Strong and motivated team for Etoile de Bessèges
The Etoile de Bessèges is the first stage race of the year for Lotto Soudal. The 51st edition of this race in southern France consists of five stages, including a short but crucial individual time trial on the final day of racing.
Lotto Soudal heads to Etoile de Bessèges with the same seven riders who participated in Sunday’s GP La Marseillaise. The experienced Degenkolb, Gilbert and Wellens will be supported by youngsters Andreas Kron, Stefano Oldani, Gerben Thijssen and Brent Van Moer.
“The opening stage will immediately be a first important appointment with the uphill finish at the end. John Degenkolb and Gerben Thijssen will be our guys for the sprint stages. Tim Wellens aims for the general classification, in which the concluding time trial will be crucial. This test against the clock has been a part of the course since a very long time and is with its short climb at the end definitely something for Wellens. Andreas Kron showed really good form during the GP La Marseillaise and he will have to assist our leaders as long as possible. He can also go for it himself if possible”, says Lotto Soudal sports director Marc Wauters.
Line-up Lotto Soudal Etoile de Bessèges: John Degenkolb, Philippe Gilbert, Andreas Kron, Stefano Oldani, Gerben Thijssen, Brent Van Moer and Tim Wellens.
Stage 1 – Wednesday 3 February: Bellegarde - Bellegarde (143.5 km)
Stage 2 – Thursday 4 February: Saint-Geniès-de-Malgoirès - La Calmette (154 km)
Stage 3 – Friday 5 February: Bessèges - Bessèges (155 km)
Stage 4 – Saturday 6 February: Rousson – Saint-Siffret (151.6 km)
Stage 5 – Sunday 7 February: Alès - Alès (Individual time trial – 10.7 km)