Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens to captain Lotto Soudal at Clasica San Sebastian
Aug 02 2019 03:03 am CET

Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens to captain Lotto Soudal at Clasica San Sebastian
Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens to captain Lotto Soudal at Clasica San Sebastian
Image: Lotto Soudal logo

Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens are set to lead Lotto-Soudal at the next appointment of the WorldTour calendar: the Clasica San Sebastian.

Both riders just finished the Tour de France and they are ready to face the hilly route of the Spanish one-day race. "For the first time in a while, the course has been slightly adapted, compared to previous years," said sports director Frederik Willems. "In the past, the peloton had to climb the Jaizkibel and the Arkale each lap. Now, the Arkale has been removed and the Jaizkibel is only climbed once.

"Instead, some new hills make their appearance, with the Murgil-Tontorra, the steep climb with gradients up to 22 per cent - probably as the decisive climb. In the past, this hill was only faced once, now two times. That could possibly change the race. I expect that the same big names will battle it out. It is almost always the riders who have good legs in the Tour de France, who ride well at the Clásica San Sebastián. In my opinion, those riders are sufficiently recovered and will make the race, but we always have to await whether there will be a surprise."

Lotto Soudal has a clear plan to face the race. "Until the first time the Murgil-Tontorra, we will try to move along and to be protected at the front with riders like Tosh Van der Sande or Jelle Vanendert," he explained. "When the finale approaches, Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens will need to take control, because they are our leaders. The rest of the team will support them as best they can and will try to prevent us from having to race defensively.

"Usually, a puncher with good descending skills wins the race. Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens also have those qualities. They both know the descent and even possible wet roads should not prevent them from being at the front. Our goal is to have at least one of the two in the decisive group that will sprint for the victory."

Lotto Soudal's line-up for the Clasica San Sebastian (August 3):

Tiesj Benoot
Jens Keukeleire
Rémy Mertz
Maxime Monfort
Tosh Van der Sande
Jelle Vanendert
Tim Wellens




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