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Henderson confirmed in Lotto Belisol Tour team
Jun 20th, 12. Today's Lotto Belisol Tour de France team announcement confirms what Greg Henderson told RoadCycling.co.nz last month - the Kiwi is about to begin his first Tour!
The team has goals for the General Classification with Jurgen Van den Broeck but it is also taking a full leadout train to support Andre Greipel in the sprints - where Henderson is the critical last rider before the German launches his attack.
In his six years as a pro-rider, this is Henderson's first Tour de France start.
He told RoadCycling.co.nz he was fizzing when the team told him he would be riding the Tour. Since then he has had a great leadup, both in terms of form and results. Last week he called himself, "cherry ripe" for the Tour.
Lotto Belisol team announcement
Sportive Manager Marc Sergeant: "We 've put our nine names for the Tour on paper. I think I might say we have a balanced and homogeneous selection of riders who already proved the to be ready at the right moment and who can manage on different terrains."
"Obviously we had to make some decisions, but every year that's the case. Francis De Greef had a good Giro, is very solid and can go a long way in the mountains. After the Giro we decided not enter him at the Dauphiné or Tour of Switzerland, because the preparation would have been too hard. Adam Hansen also proved in the last week of the Giro being to able to climb and being in shape at the right time."
"The ones who are not selected, obviously are disappointed. Frederik Willems wanted to go, but realized that he is not at his best right now. Jurgen Van de Walle has grown in the Dauphiné Libéré and is our reserve. Bart De Clercq had found his climbers' legs in the Tour of Switzerland, but it's one year too early for Bart."
"It's a big advantage that our riders go to the Tour with clear goals. With our team, and especially with Jurgen Van den Broeck, we aim for the best general ranking possible.
"Next to that, there are a couple of stages in which Jelle Vanendert can have a go.
"André Greipel worked his way up to the Tour and supported by Greg Henderson, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg, he gets the great sprinting train who showed its skills during the last weeks.
"Riders like Roelandts, Bak and Hansen also might have a chance in the transit stages."
Lotto Belisol Tour de France team
Reserve: Jurgen Van de Walle.
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