De Clercq has already enjoyed some impressive results this season, most notably at the Tour de San Luis and the Ruta del Sol.
And the Belgian team's sporting director Mario Aerts believes his main climber is capable of troubling the leaders once the 'Race to the Sun' gets under way this Sunday.
“Our main goal is a place in the top ten with our climber Bart De Clercq and possibly higher than top ten. He will get the support of some riders of the team," Aerts said.
"Lars Bak will return to competition so we have to see how his condition is. Apart from De Clercq we start with riders who have a free role and we hope for individual strong performances.”
“Our young Belgian Gaëtan Bille can ride a good prologue and De Greef can possibly join a long breakaway.
"There will be sprints as well and we give the chance to Jens Debusschere and Dennis Vanendert to prove themselves in the bunch sprints. Robert Gesink and Tejay Van Garderen can be on the highest spot after the climb time trial."
The prestigious Paris-Nice stage race starts on Sunday and finishes on March 10.
Lotto Belisol team for Paris-Nice: Lars Bak, Gaëtan Bille, Bart De Clercq, Francis De Greef, Jens Debusschere, Dirk Bellemakers, Dennis Vanendert, Frederik Willems.
- Sports & Recreation
- Bart De Clercq
- Mario Aerts