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News 05.07.2019

Tour de France: The eight riders and sportive direction are ready

The eight riders and sportive management for the Tour de France were presented to the press in the Espace de Wallonie in Brussels, after a first training ride together. The brand new Cube C68 bike and the BBB Maestro helmet were presented.

Jean-François Bourlart (general manager):

« We are more ambitious than previous years, next to our offensive racing style we want to be there in the finals and battle for stage victories. Our DS duo Hilaire Van der Schueren and Steven De Neef will teach the riders a lot during this Tour de France. Steven is coming to France with us for the third time, while Hilaire is about to start his 22nd Tour de France. They hope to guide a complete team to Paris, as both previous years, this is a goal close to my heart. »

« Our climber Guillaume Martin approaches this Tour de France in a very good condition, after nearly missing out on a stage victory in the Dauphiné and at the French national championships, where he was caught right before the line. Andrea Pasqualon, our sprinter who finished six times within the top 10 last year, showed very good form in May by finishing on the podium in the Gippingen GP and Tour of Luxembourg and is indispensable in our selection. »

« Yoann Offredo had a lot of bad luck during the season start, but showed professionalism and willingness to come back. Our team captain will support the team as he did during the two previous edition and receive his own chance in stages suited for him. Frederik Backaert, part of the team for six years, did the recon of the Belgian stages and is ready to go in the offense in his second Tour de France. This first Tour selection for Kévin Van Melsen, loyal member of the team since the youth categories and appreciated by his collegues, is both for him and for us a recompensation of the work we realized together. »

« The aim of the team is to discover young talents and lift them as high as possible, Aimé and Xandro being examples of this strategy. Xandro reached an international level, it is natural for him to be at the start of his first Tour de France. It was too early last year to select Odd Eiking for the Tour de France, but this year he is omnipresent since the season start. We will hear from him this month. »

Hilaire Van der Schueren (sportive director):

« This is the second time I pass in my home town Geraardsbergen as a sportive director during the Tour de France. But this special moment only last a couple of minutes and our focus is soon back on the finish in Brussels and the presceding cobble section in Charleroi, where we have to protect Guillaume Martin. Race organizer ASO invited us again this year, thanks to our offensive racing style. Guillaume Martin has no ambition to finish in the top 12 in the general classification, but my experience with Thomas De Gendt in the Giro tells me it is realisable. We want to avoid to loose time because of crashes etc. during the first week with this group of riders, in order to start the stage with finish on top of La Planche des Belles Filles in a good position. »

Guillaume Martin:

« We tried to show ourselves and perform regular during the first two editions, but I feel more free now and aim for a stage victory. Therefore risks need to be taken, although I don't let go of my goal to finish well in the general classification. The stage towards La Planche des Belles Filles is my favourite stage. Furthermore, I don't have a plan, because the race not always develops as you expect, I will follow my instinct. »

Yoann Offredo:

« It is a victory to be at the Grand Départ! I've had a very difficult start to the season, but with courage I've come out taller, not in body length! Difficulties are on our path, but we still can hope to shine. »

Kévin Van Melsen:

« A first part of a dream has become reality, now I focus on arriving in Paris. I'm very happy that the team recompensates my work with this selection and gives me its confidence, which I hope to give back during this Tour de France. » Xandro Meurisse: « I surprised myself in the Critérium du Dauphiné, giving me confidence for my first Tour de France. I believe I can play a role in the mountains for myself, and for Guillaume Martin. »