Team Japan Talks About Zolder Circuit
Team Landbouwkrediet-Colnago’s Masa Mifune lives and trains near the Zolder circuit, naturally he’s looking forward to this huge race in his own backyard. We asked him about the his thoughts on the race, the circuit, and who can win.
1. The circuit profile is mainly flat, leading many to predict a bunch finish. You’ve now ridden the course a few times, what do you think of it?
MM – It looks very easy (I mean only the profile), but I guess not so easy. There are many turns, it could be windy. If the weather is not good, like rain, wind, cold, I think that’s harder than a big classic. And this circuit is not comfortable to stay behind peloton.
2. Are there any particular obstacles, like wind direction or wind strength to be considered?
MM – There is one of beautiful forest. Near the (car racing) Circuit, that is not so hard, because it’s in the forest. Then some parts have no obstacles.
3. Are there any places where an attack is likely to take place?
MM – Just out side of the car circuit, there are many turns.
4. Is it possible for a non-sprinter to win the race?
MM – I think that’s possible. But world championships are never easy to say who will win. If the road condition is wet, I think it’s not easy for Cipollini, or any other good sprinter to win. My favorites are Diereksens, Kirsipuu, Zabel, Museeuw especially bad weather. I think everything possible in Worlds. Maybe this circuit is more chance than another year’s World, but…
5. Who are the riders you feel will be the strongest?
MM – Museeuw. For the sprint, Cipollini is best.
6. Who else will be riding with you on the Japanese team?
MM – No one. 0….because Japan hasn’t a good place on national ranking.
7. Which national team do you think will be the strongest and work best together – given that so many different trade teams are involved?
MM – Italy is my favorite. They are best that’s for sure. But remember last 10 years, they never got win…