Adam Hansen hoping to extend his Grand Tour odyssey to 15 consecutive finishes

Lotto Soudal will head to the Tour de France with a well established nine-rider line-up designed to deliver Andre Greipel as many stage wins as possible.

Australia’s Adam Hansen and Kiwi Greg Henderson will again be embedded in the well drilled and purposeful squad, with the former hoping to extend his Grand Tour odyssey to 15 consecutive finishes.

Greipel will again be the team’s point man in the sprints, while Tony Gallopin will use his qualities in the hunt for a stage win on more difficult terrain.

“Our goals are clear. We aim for a stage win with André Greipel”, team boss Marc Sergeant said. “There is a lot of competition between the sprinters, but the past twelve months André has proven to still be able to perform on the important moments. During the Tour he can rely on his sprint train.

“There are a few stages where Tony Gallopin can have a go, but of course riders like Adam Hansen and Thomas De Gendt can take their chance as well. They have a free role.”

Lars Bak, Thomas De Gendt, Jens Debusschere, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg round out the highly professional Belgian based outfit.

“I think we’ve made a logical choice. Eight of the nine riders were part of the team last year as well and Jürgen Roelandts is back after one season without riding the Tour. At the Giro he noticed how valuable it is to contribute to the team’s success and with his qualities he’s cut out for that work.”

“Lars Bak is part of the selection after a successful test at Halle-Ingooigem yesterday and the medical staff off our team, who also consulted doctor Toon Claes, gave him the green light.

“After his crash on the last Giro stage there was only a slim chance he would be able to ride the Tour, but right from day one he did all he could to grab that chance. In a team like ours a rider like Lars is very important to work during the flat stages.”