On Sunday Wanty-Groupe Gobert closes the spring classics campaign in Liège-Bastogne-Liège (1.WT, 23/04). The team will bear an offensive ride in mind. On Friday our riders did an ultimate recon of the course with the new climbs Pont, Bellevaux and Ferme Libert. Hilaire Van der Schueren counts on our best climbers and punchers: Jérôme Baugnies, Thomas Degand, Fabien Doubey, Guillaume Martin, Xandro Meurisse, Marco Minnaard, Andrea Pasqualon and Dion Smith line up for our team on Sunday. Impressions after the reconnaissance of Thomas Degand, who will start his 4th Doyenne on Sunday.
« The new three climbs, apart from Ferme Libert, are not more complicated than last editions. On the other hand, the build up to Col du Rosier, along the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, goes up and down all the time. That part of the course is more tough than the transition from Haute Levée to Rosier in the last editions.
Given the scenario in the previous classics, which settled faster than usual, we can expect offensives on the Ferme Libert. The leaders can send out their lieutenant over there. Even with 75 kilometers remaining that climb could have an impact. Liège-Bastogne-Liège remains an elimination race.
We must stay with our feet on the ground. We do not have the legs to follow the best riders in the final of the race. We have to anticipate in orde to play a role in this world top race. For my part the last 30 kilometers in Amstel Gold Race were tough since I didn't ride this distance for three years. My condition is good, I hope to be able to show this on Sunday. I think Dion (Smith) will be the best card of our team. »