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Martens back and ambitious for Drôme and Ardèche

Team LottoNL-Jumbo has a busy weekend ahead. Its cyclists will not only participate in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, but also two French 1.1 races: the Classic Sud Ardèche - Souvenir Francis and the La Drome Classic, Saturday and Sunday.

Team LottoNL-Jumbo has a busy weekend ahead. Its cyclists will not only participate in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, but also two French 1.1 races: the Classic Sud Ardèche - Souvenir Francis and the La Drome Classic, Saturday and Sunday.
 
Paul Martens rode both races last year, but travelled to France with a very different goal back then. Due to a knee injury, the German hadn’t been able to train properly during the winter and he didn’t finish either race. “Last year,” he said, “I was testing my knee in those races.” 

Aggressive race
Martens hopes to achieve more this weekend. “The Volta ao Algarve was my first race of the season and things went according to plan. I felt good. My Pioneer power metre proved that,” said the 31-year-old, who finished third in Algarve’s opening stage.

 
“I hope to bag a result in France. Some riders have started their season much earlier than I have, though. And you can still see the difference, especially uphill. “Nonetheless, these races are good tests for the upcoming classics. Racing in France is always aggressive and it requires you to stay attentive and focused, just as in the classics. During a WorldTour race you sometimes get mentally lazy.”

Dekker
Erik Dekker was the team’s sports director during last year’s races in the Drôme and Ardèche departments. He knows that his riders need to tackle a lot of climbing metres again this weekend

“They’re beautiful, but tough races. You need good legs to win. The field isn’t comparable with the peloton in the Omloop or Paris-Nice, and that offers opportunities. Several of our men can seriously compete. Bert-Jan Lindeman and Paul are our most prominent riders, but during this race anyone can surprise.”
 
Team line-up:
George Bennett, Brian Bulgac, Martijn Keizer, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Nick van der Lijke, Barry Markus, Paul Martens and Timo Roosen.
 
Sports Director:
Erik Dekker.


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