Lotto Soudal kicked off the Tour de France team presentations to be held this week, holding theirs at home in Antwerpen on Tuesday afternoon. Each of the riders commented on the Tour and their role with the team, which is strongly focused on delivering André Greipel to victory on the sprint stages.
Discussing his job at the 200-meter mark, Greg Henderson brought insight to the critical time and the difficulty in doing so…
Everyone can be at the front at 5 or 6km out but, when we decide now’s the time to go and on what side of the road that we’re going, then it actually becomes not a bad job. It’s a straight line. It’s 60 km/hr and nobody can move.
In the area leading up to that, it’s very stressful and it’s very hard to keep it. You know, you see it on TV and you see 5 or 6 guys all in a line and think this looks easy, but to actually keep 5 or 6 guys in one place on one side of the road, it’s very difficult.”
Marcel Sieberg explained the value of experience in the lead out…
Like Hendy (Greg Henderson) said, the last 10km is really important.
You have communication, but I think over the years we don’t so much need to communicate in the final – it’s a feeling we have over the years – how to react and how to ride.
With Lars Bak and Hendy already a few years together and André – you react automatically in this situation.”
André Greipel talked about the importance of team trust and support…
I think before the start of the Tour, we are a strong team on paper, we just have to bring it on the bikes and to the finish line.
At the end, just 10 minutes before, I just need to look good. It’s not about me, it’s about the whole team.
The point is to get to the 200 or 250 meter mark and be able to sprint. I have a good team to support me there and when I see the banner at the end, I hope I can always find some power.”
Lotto Soudal 2015 Tour de France team roster
16/01/1980, Pro since 2002, 1m90 – 76 kg, 5th Tour
Thomas De Gendt
06/11/1986, Pro since 2009, 1m79 – 68 kg, 3rd Tour
28/08/1989, Pro since 2011, 1m83 – 78 kg, 1st Tour
24/05/1988, Pro since 2010, 1m80 – 70 kg, 5th Tour
16/07/1982, Pro since 2005, 1m84 – 82 kg, 5th Tour
11/05/1981, Pro since 2007, 1m86 – 77 kg, 6th Tour
10/09/1976, Pro since 2002, 1m81 – 72.5 kg, 4th Tour
30/04/1982, Pro since 2005, 1m98 – 82 kg, 6th Tour
10/05/1991, Pro since 2012, 1m83 – 65 kg, 1st Tour
Lotto Soudal Staff at the Tour
General manager: Marc Sergeant
Sports directors: Herman Frison, Bart Leysen and Frederik Willems
Doctor: Jan Mathieu
Physiotherapist: Tim Aerts
Soigneurs: Franky De Buyst, Vincent Monserez, Raoul Saren, Hans Van Hout and Kurt Wouters
Mechanics: Jean-Pierre Christiaens, Frederik Moons, Steven Van Olmen and Jeanick Verstraete
Bus driver: Mario Meeuwssen
Press and PR: Arne Houtekier
Cooks: Carol De Dobbelaere and Guillaume Barbier
Mental coach: Nathan Kahan
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