2013 GP de Wallonie winner Jan Bakelants will lead the AG2R-La Mondiale team for the mid-week Belgian race looking to carry his Vuelta a Espana form into his final races of the season. The Belgian won the final stage of the La Méditerranéenne in the early-season and has had top-ten results at the La Provence, Tirreno-Adriatico, Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and the Vuelta since as he looks for a second win in 2016.
"I am satisfied with Vuelta a Espana (17th overall). I tried but I didn't succeed in winning," Bakelants said of his best GC result in 11 grand tours. "Tomorrow, my legs could be painful in the first kilometers of GP de Wallonie. It's a race I love, very typical with the difficult final in Citadelle de Namur. I often had good results there."
In his last four appearances at the GP de Wallonie, Bakelants has finished no lower than fifth and was second to Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) last year. Bakelants went on to enjoy a successful end of season at a series of Italian one-day races in 2015, winning the Giro del Piemonte and Giro dell'Emilia. The 30-year-old is aiming to replicate his results as he added.
"Then I will participate in the Italian races. Last year I won Giro dell Piemonte and Giro dell Emilia. I am very motivated and I hope the six last 2016 races will be successful," he said.
Joining Bakelants for the Belgian one-day race is Domenico Pozzovivo with the Italian making his second appearance after a month's break of racing. Frenchmen Hubert Dupont and Guillaume Bonnafond add experience to the line up that features stagiaires Remy Rochas and Benoit Cosnefroy in their second appearances for AG2R-La Mondiale after their Tour du Doubs - Conseil Généraldebuts last week.
AG2R-La Mondiale for GP Wallonie: Jan Bakelants, Guillaume Bonnafond, Remy Rochas, Hubert Dupont, Domenico Pozzovivo and Benoit Cosnefroy.