“Every day we’re going to try to win the stage,” said Elijzen. “With Theo Bos and Barry Markus, we have two fast sprinters and for the hilly stages in the Ardennes, we believe in Paul Martens, Sep Vanmarcke, Bram Tankink and Maarten Wynants. Those four men can also do well in the overall classification. “The time trial will be a difficult one, but during the other stages, we will do our best to make it an attractive race. Maybe we can take some time in one of the windy flat stages. It’s going to be an interesting race.”
Bram Tankink remembers the Baloise Belgium Tour well. The Dutchman finished third overall in the 2010 edition. “I’m sort of an outsider,” said the always-optimistic Tankink. “I’ve had a brief period of rest after the classics and I feel good again. The time trial will be critical and honestly, that’s not entirely in my favour, even if I placed fourth in it the 2010 edition.”
The Baloise Belgium Tour starts on Wednesday with a 173-kilometre stage that runs from Lochristi to Buggenhout. The time trial on Friday leads the riders over a 16.7-kilometre course. The race ends on Sunday with a 187-kilometre stage that starts and finishes in Oreye.
Theo Bos, Graeme Brown, Barry Markus, Paul Martens, Bram Tankink, Sep Vanmarcke, Robert Wagner and Maarten Wynants.
Erik Dekker and Michiel Elijzen.