Belkin: Race Preview-Ronde Van Vlaanderen
The Team Giant-Shimano line-up taking on the assault of Flanders is: Nikias Arndt (GER), Roy Curvers (NED), John Degenkolb (GER), Dries Devenyns (BEL), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Koen De Kort (NED), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) and Tom Veelers (NED).
On Thursday Arndt, Degenkolb and Devenyns headed out to do a route reconnaissance ride to remind themselves of the course, and the second half in particular.
Following last Sunday’s win in Gent-Wevelgem the team are full of confidence and are looking to have another strong ride in Flanders, one of the toughest one-day races in the calendar.
Here’s what some of the riders had to say:
John Degenkolb (GER)
“I’m feeling good now It’s a great feeling to go into this race with much more confidence than the past years. Winning on Sunday takes a lot of pressure off the whole team.
“We did a really good training ride out on the course yesterday which helps to remind yourself of where the difficulties are.
“De Ronde is one of the hardest races though and a lot can happen. We will need to ride well as a team once again but we can be there at the end.
“Flanders for me is one of the biggest days in the year and to come here with a strong team having won a classic is a good feeling.”
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
“We had a really good reconnaissance ride of the Flanders course yesterday (Thursday). I started early and rode the last 150km of the race in total, going over all of the important difficult points and when we need to be at the front.
“Everybody knows that this race is a really hard course and only the strongest will fight it out on the last passage of the Kwaremont and Paterberg and I hope to be in there.
“For me this race is inspiring as it goes around my home base, so I want to be able to do as good a job as possible on Sunday.”
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
“Flanders is the king of the classics, and the atmosphere is always special on the day – it fills me with excitement.
“The confidence in the team is really high after John’s victory on Sunday at Gent-Wevelgem and I am feeling good too now. Hopefully my luck will turn and I can be there to support John and Dries for as long as possible into the final.
“I am ready to fight!”
Marc Reef (NED)
“The way the team have ridden in both E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem gives us a lot of confidence for Sunday and the coming classics.
“However, the Tour of Flanders is a different race altogether, the highest level you get in the Flemish classics. Based on the last few weeks we will focus on a result with John and Dries will be protected as well.
“If we continue to work like we have been recently we will be there challenging at the end.”