Gazprom – RusVelo strives to clinch a podium in the Tour de Wallonie
On the 22-26 of July Gazprom – RusVelo is to compete in the highest category race Tour de Wallonie. Experienced riders of Gazprom – RusVelo are in an upbeat mood before the upcoming contest.
Originally, first raced in 1974, Tour de Wallonie evolved from an amateur level only in 1995. However, in 2005 the Belgium race got its current highest category and was included in the UCI Europe Tour. As of today, Tour de Wallonie is the most prestigious stage-race in the French-speaking part of the country and always has an impressive list of contenders.
Riders are to cover 913 kilometres of craggy road course in five racing days. During the first three stages cycling fans will probably recognize some of the sections of famous Ardennes classics: Liège–Bastogne–Liège and La Fleche Wallonne. The route of the remaining stages runs mainly flat along the plains with a few mild climbs enabling sprinters to make the final changes in the overall classification. The allocation of places in the GC is expected to be very tight, thus every bonus second at the intermediate sprints and stage finishes is essential.
Main hopes of Gazprom – RusVelo for the Belgium race are on experienced riders. Ivan Savitskiy and Roman Maikin are to target the stages with mostly flat altimetries, whereas Sergey Lagutin, who already clinched a podium and was third overall in 2015, strives to improve his result this year. That’s what Sergey said before the upcoming start: “The races in the south-east of Belgium are my favourite. The terrain suits my legs perfectly and I am quite familiar with the road course, especially the last stage with the finish line in Thuin, as it was two years ago when I made it to the podium. Last year Gazprom – RusVelo debuted in the race with a confident fifth place of Evgeny Shalunov in the GC. This year we are set up to improve our result and compete for the victory.”
Gazprom – RusVelo line-up: Igor Boev, Roman Maikin, Ivan Savitskiy, Andrey Solomennikov, Sergey Lagutin, Artur Ershov, Nikolay Trusov, Anton Vorobyev.