Tim Wellens set to lead Lotto Soudal in Amstel Gold Race
Apr 20 2019 02:23 am CET

Tim Wellens set to lead Lotto Soudal in Amstel Gold Race
Tim Wellens set to lead Lotto Soudal in Amstel Gold Race
Tim Wellens (c)Lotto Soudal

Tim Wellens is set to lead Lotto Soudal at the Amstel Gold Race. The Belgian finished in the sixth position in 2018.

The Dutch classic is going to be 265.7 kilometres long in the south of the Netherlands and will feature 35 hills, including three ascents to the Cauberg. "Classics of 250 kilometres and more, are elimination races anyway," Wellens commented. "Last year's edition, when the real finale began on the Keutenberg, actually went the way I like it. I was ahead with seven other strong riders. During the final local lap, it was a cat-and-mouse game of attacks, while we also caught the escapees very late.

"(Michael) Valgren and (Roman) Kreuziger were eventually granted just enough freedom to fight for the win. I am not against a similar turnout on Sunday, because I need to poker a bit to get rid of the faster riders. It will come down to choosing the right moment to attack. That did not work in 2018, resulting in a sixth place. Of course, we hope to do better this year."

Wellens also talked about the race's favourites and his own chances. "The weather will be nice on Sunday, but certainly not as hot as 30 degrees, so the temperature should not be an issue for me," he explained. "(Mathieu) Van der Poel, (Julian) Alaphilippe and (Michael) Matthews are of course again among the favourites, but that list will be extended with (Peter) Sagan, (Greg) Van Avermaet, (Alejandro) Valverde and the strong team of Astana.

"I think the Amstel Gold Race is a nice race, a bit like the Tour of Flanders, but without the cobblestones. Knowing the region much better than the Flemish Ardennes is to my advantage though. The difference with the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège is that positioning is less important there than in the Amstel, which is in my favour because I am good at it. As a team, however, we should never be chasing. When outsiders or helpers of the main favourites attack, there must be a Lotto Soudal rider there as well."

Lotto Soudal's roster for the Amstel Gold Race (21st of April):

Sander Armée
Bjorg Lambrecht
Tomasz Marczy?ski
Maxime Monfort
Tosh Van der Sande
Jelle Vanendert
Tim Wellens




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