WorldTeam First Tour de la Provence for Lotto Soudal
For the first time in its history, Lotto Soudal will be at the start of the Tour de la Provence. This four-day stage race in the south of France offers punchers, sprinters as well as climbers a shot at stage glory. Day one will immediately be a tough day out for the riders as over 2,500 altitude metres await between Aubagne and Six-Fours-Les-Plages. Stage two is with an uphill finish in Manosque perfectly suited to the peloton’s puncheurs. On Saturday 13 February, the Tour de la Provence will pay a visit to the iconic Mont Ventoux. However, the finish line is drawn at Chalet Reynard, some six kilometres before the actual summit of the ‘Giant of Provence’. On Sunday 14 February, the curtain falls on the sixth edition of the Tour de la Provence with a stage between Avignon and Salon-de-Provence, where the fast guys will more than likely battle it out for the stage win.
Tim Wellens, John Degenkolb and Philippe Gilbert will spearhead the team. Also the Italian Stefano Oldani - who impressed at last week’s Etoile de Bessèges - will be present. For his compatriot Filippo Conca, the Tour de la Provence will mark his debut in Lotto Soudal colours. Frederik Frison and Florian Vermeersch will rack up their first race kilometres as they build up towards the Flemish spring races.
Line-up Lotto Soudal: Filippo Conca, John Degenkolb, Frederik Frison, Philippe Gilbert, Stefano Oldani, Florian Vermeersch and Tim Wellens.
Stage 1 – Thursday 11 February: Aubagne – Six-Fours-Les-Plages (182.3 km)
Stage 2 – Friday 12 February: Cassis - Manosque (174.6 km)
Stage 3 – Saturday 13 February: Istres – Mont Ventoux (153.9 km)
Stage 4 - Sunday 14 February: Avignon – Salon-de-Provence (163.2 km)