Steff Cras talks about his selection for the Tour de France. “A dream come true”
The team was looking for a rider of my profile. Someone who can help during the flat part and who can stay with Caleb in the mountains.
On Sunday 30 June, the battle for the Belgian tricolour jersey will take place in Ghent. On a relatively flat course with some cobbles in the first part of the race, the peloton will be hunting for the national jersey from defending champion Yves Lampaert. Sports director Herman Frison expects an unpredictable race.
Herman Frison: “The Belgian road race championship is always a strange race. Especially the cobbles and the narrow ways could be a decisive factor this year. Maybe the winner will be someone who attacks right from the start, like Preben Van Hecke did in 2015.”
“Personally I think that the Belgian road race championship is the hardest race of the year to predict because only the first place matters. The fact that we are starting with a lot of Lotto Soudal riders, can be both a benefit and a disadvantage. We need to make sure that we ride offensively and that we always have someone up front, preferably someone who is able to win the race.”
“There are a lot of favourites for the tricolour jersey. Everybody can win on this parcours. If the race took place in the Ardennes, you could already cross out more than half of the riders, but that’s not the case. The race is more suited to the Classics specialists, but maybe the winner will be the one who can best adapt to the heat.”
“I don’t want to pick out a leader in our team. This Saturday we have a meeting and we do know who is in good shape at the moment but still, the Belgian road race championship is something special to our riders. It is a kind of pride everybody wants to fight for.”
Participants Lotto Soudal: Sander Armée, Tiesj Benoot, Victor Campenaerts, Jasper De Buyst, Thomas De Gendt, Stan Dewulf, Frederik Frison, Jens Keukeleire, Bjorg Lambrecht, Nikolas Maes, Rémy Mertz, Maxime Monfort, Lawrence Naesen, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert, Harm Vanhoucke, Jelle Wallays, Tim Wellens and Enzo Wouters.
Brent Van Moer suffers from stomach flu and will not be at the start of the Belgian championship on Sunday.