Jens Debusschere aims for good result at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne
Traditionally, the Belgian cycling season starts with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Yesterday, Tiesj Benoot and Jürgen Roelandts talked about their expectations for the Omloop, today sports director Herman Frison and Jens Debusschere give their vision on the opening weekend.
Herman Frison, sports director Lotto Soudal: “We have a strong team for both races. Marcel Sieberg is the missing link in our team and that’s a pity. Due to illness, he didn’t get fit in time for the opening weekend. But we have enough riders to fill that gap. In the previous races everyone showed they are in a good shape. On top of that we have already won six races. We did a recon of the Omloop and Kuurne a few weeks ago. We didn’t want to risk having to cancel the recon due to bad weather. And that turned out to be a good choice. Also, the riders were only back from the Ruta del Sol and Volta ao Algarve on Monday. Now they could take the necessary rest to be fresh for the Omloop and Kuurne. The opening weekend is always important for us as Belgian team. Like always, we will ride our own race and won’t look at other teams.”
Jens Debusschere: “Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is one of the spring races that suits me best, just like Dwars door Vlaanderen and Ghent-Wevelgem. At Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Tiesj Benoot and Jürgen Roelandts have a bigger chance of success than I. Altough I can definitely play my role in the Omloop. I’m at my best when there is a sprint at the end of a hard race, with a finale that’s not too tough. Look at my victory at Dwars door Vlaanderen last year. At Kuurne I haven’t been able to set a high result yet, I hope to change that on Sunday. Hopefully it will be an open race with a smaller group that reaches the finish. After a hard race I have more chance of winning.”
“Two years ago, I set a step forward with several top ten places in the classics and last year I won Dwars door Vlaanderen. When I had reached my best level I crashed at Ghent-Wevelgem. Let’s hope that the team and I are spared from bad luck now. Last week, I crashed at Volta ao Algarve and hurt my hand, but that won’t bother me this weekend. I hope I can play my role for the team at the Omloop and in Kuurne I will aim for the victory.”
Sunday around noon the riders will start in Kuurne for a two hundred kilometres long race. From West-Flanders they are heading towards the Flemish Ardennes. The course runs across the Kruisberg, Oude Kwaremont and Tiegemberg. After the ascent of Nokereberg, the twelfth and last hill, the peloton returns to West-Flanders. The race ends with two local laps of 15.3 kilometres in and around Kuurne.
Jens Debusschere and Tiesj Benoot: