Lotto Soudal to hunt for stage wins in Paris-Nice
Mar 10 2019 05:27 am CET

Lotto Soudal to hunt for stage wins in Paris-Nice
Lotto Soudal to hunt for stage wins in Paris-Nice
Image: Lotto Soudal logo

Lotto Soudal is set to start in Paris-Nice with a versatile roster that will fight for stage victories. Caleb Ewan and Thomas De Gendt are the men chosen to try to get day wins.

Ewan will start in the French race for the first time and he will have with him a strong team to support his sprint aspirations. De Gendt, as the winner of last year's mountain classification, will be the man for the hillier stages.

"In the past, Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico were only regarded as races to prepare for Milan - San Remo, the first Monument of the season," said sports director Herman Frison. "Nowadays, these first European stage races imply the first clash between the world’s best riders. It will be full gas racing and also within our team - after a solid start to the season - everybody is motivated to give their all.”

"Paris-Nice starts with three, maybe even four, stages that can result in a bunch kick. On day five, there is an individual time trial and that’s where the battle for the general classification begins. Afterwards, three tough stages are scheduled. Especially the penultimate stage - finishing on the fifteen kilometres long Col de Turini - will be decisive for the overall."

Frison also explained the plans for the week of racing. "Tim Wellens - who already rode Paris-Nice several times – now chose for Tirreno-Adriatico because he thinks that the Col de Turini might be a little too hard for him in the pursuit of a good overall result," he explained. "That way, we deliberately decided to fully go for a stage win - in the first place with our sprinter Caleb Ewan - instead of targeting a nice place on GC.

"For the Australian, the race means the ultimate preparation towards Milan-San Remo, the first big goal of his season. It will be his debut in the French stage race this year. In the past, he frequently participated in the Tirreno but because there are at least three possible sprint stages, we opted for Paris-Nice. Caleb Ewan is the kind of rider that needs to be brought in a good position in the run-up to the sprint. With Nikolas Maes, Roger Kluge and Jasper De Buyst, we have the perfect riders to do so.

"During the final three stages, the more offensive riders within our line -up such as Thomas De Gendt and Maxime Monfort, but also Adam Hansen, will have the opportunity to show themselves. They have to try to join breakaways in order to aim for a stage win. The mountain classification - which he won last year - can again become a goal for Thomas this year, but in the first place, a sprint victory prevails. Afterwards, we will evaluate the possibilities day by day because most mountain points are to be gained the last three days."

Lotto Soudal's complete roster for Paris-Nice (10th to 19th of March):

Jasper De Buyst
Thomas De Gendt
Caleb Ewan
Adam Hansen
Roger Kluge
Nikolas Maes
Maxime Monfort
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