With ambitions in Algarve

Team LottoNL-Jumbo is full of ambitions for the Volta ao Algarve next week, butwill not put its riders under pressure to perform. Sports Director Nico Verhoeven wants his team in Portugal to work towards bigger races later in the season.

"We will try to win a stage,” said Verhoeven, “but the important thing is that we start the season well.”

He has already set his sights on the season’s first big races. The Belgian opening weekend, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, marks the beginning of a series of important races.

“Our classic riders need to build rhythm ahead of those races. Tom Van Asbroeck, Paul Martens and Robert Wagner are fast. They’re allowed to get in the mix in the sprints in the Algarve.”

Robert Gesink
Robert Gesink and Kevin De Weert are at an altitude training camp in Tenerife, Spain. “We are curious to how they are doing in Portugal,” Verhoeven said.

“The Algarve is my first race of the season after a long and hectic winter,” said Gesink. “For me, it's not a race that I’ll score in. My priority is to form a foundation for a good season.

“So far, during the training sessions, things are going my way. This is my first training camp with the team this year, but I don’t feel like I’m any less than the others at the moment.”

Diverse course
Verhoeven rates the Volta ao Algarve as a beautiful race. “The course is very diverse. There are two uphill finishes and two sprint stages. There is also a 19-kilometre time trial. Above all, it is a race with many kilometres and a nice start ahead of the bigger ones.”

Team line-up:
Tom Van Asbroeck, Robert Gesink, Paul Martens, Bram Tankink, Sep Vanmarcke, Robert Wagner, Kevin De Weert and Maarten Wynants.

Sports Director:
Nico Verhoeven.

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