Belgian Champion Stijn Devolder will head on Saturday for Toulouse, France, for some training on the roads of the major Pyrenean and Alpine stages of the upcoming Tour de France. The 2008 Tour de Flanders winner will be accompanied by his Spanish team-mate Carlos Barredo and by Director Dirk Demol.
"This will be my first Tour [de France]," said Devolder, "and I'm curious to discover the roads. For me it's an honour and a great chance to race in the Tour with a group like team Quick Step, where I feel perfectly at ease. These workouts will definitely be useful for me."
The reconnaissance will start Sunday with stage nine from Toulouse to Bagnères-de-Bigorre, followed on Monday by the Pau - Lourdes to Hautacam stage ten. Tuesday will take the Quick Step riders to the Alps to check out the three Alpine stages in the following days.
"This training period," said Demol, "will serve to help Stijn get to know the roads of the Tour, but also to regain his confidence on the major climbs. Up until today he hasn't participated in a race with important climbs. This training period will be important; to do a good Tour you should leave nothing to chance."