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MercanTour Classic

Mercan’Tour Classic

The climbers of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will be at the start of two classics in the Alpide belt this Tuesday en Thursday, the Mercan’Tour (1.1, 31/05) in the Maritime Alps on the one hand, and the Giro dell’Appennino (1.1, 2/06) in the Ligurian Apennines on the other hand.

It is the first participation of the Belgian team in the Mercan’Tour, which will be organized for the second time between Puget-Théniers and the top of the Col du Valberg (12.4km at 7.1%). The 4350 meters of climbing on the parcours of 168 kilometer mostly have to be covered in the second race half, with the climbs to La Colmiane (7.6km at 6.9%) and the Col de la Couillole (15.9km at 7.3%) and a first passage on the top of the Valberg before the final climb.

Also two days later a lot of climbing has to be done in the 83rd edition of the Giro dell’Appennino, but this time spread during the whole race. Fraconalto, Crocetta d’Orero, Pietralavezzara and finally the Madonna della Guardia (6.9km at 7.9%) with its top 25 kilometer before the finish are the four categorized climbs on the parcours of 192 kilometer between Pastorana and Genova. The six last kilometers in Genova follow the roads on which Lorenzo Rota battled with two other riders for the victory at the end of the twelfth stage in the Tour of Italy.

Jan Bakelants, Kobe Goossens, Louis Meintjes and Georg Zimmermann will participate in both races under de direction of Valerio Piva and Bart Wellens. The young French duo Théo Delacroix and Hugo Page completes the roster for the twelfth race of the French Cup. Quinten Hermans, Simone Petilli (7th in 2015 and 2016) and Lorenzo Rota join the four previously named riders in the Giro dell’Appennino on Thursday.

« I really enjoyed watching our riders in May, performing on all fronts. The Tour of Italy and our other victories were brilliant of course, but also performances like the one from Laurens Huys in the Tour of Norway pleased me. It is very satisfying for a coach when a rider manages to fight back after a setback and to improve his level. I will also remember our victory in the Circuit de Wallonie for a long time, it was the first time that Bart Wellens and I were in the DS car together as a duo. » « We completed a very busy racing schedule in May and we also focused on the preparation for the Tour de France with another group of riders. We did the recon of several stages and went to Andorra, where we benefited more than two weeks from perfect weather circumstances. We did a lot of base miles during a period of acclimatization at 2400 meter of altitude, after which we increased the intensity and the volume. » « Four riders who were present there, will return to competition this week: Kobe Goossens, Quinten Hermans, Louis Meintjes and Georg Zimmermann. Some riders need some time after an altitude camp, others are immediately ready to perform. I'm thinking of Quinten Hermans, the parcours of the Giro dell’Appennino suits him really well. The Mercan'Tour is a good opportunity for Kobe Goossens, the course is in line with our training camp. » « These four riders join a line up with Lorenzo Rota. He ended the Tour of Italy really well and it motivated to take profit of his good condition in the next two weeks. I'm looking forward to watch him in the Giro dell'Appennino. Finishing on the roads on which he almost took a Giro stage victory definitely gives him an extra boost. »


General Classification


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