What's Cool In Road Cycling

Lotto Belisol Ladies: Preview Flèche Wallonne with Emma Pooley

The Flèche Wallonne is scheduled on Wednesday. For the women this race is the fourth one of the World Cup. Currently, Lizzie Armitstead is the leader in the World Cup standings. The Flèche Wallonne is 127 kilometers long and consists of two laps of 64 kilometers. Both start and finish are in Huy. There are six climbs in a lap. After 10 kilometers the first climb, the Côte d’Ereffe, has to be covered. Followed by the Côte de Bellaire, Côte de Bohisseau, Côte de Bousalle, Côte d’Ahin and last but not least the Mur de Huy. This last one is 1.3 kilometers long and has an average gradient of 9.3%. There is a maximal ramp of 19%!

Let’s look forward with Emma Pooley, who wears the Lotto Belisol Ladies shirt since this year. In 2010 she already won the Flèche Wallonne. Last weekend she made her European season start in the Tour of Gelderland. We spoke her after the recon of the Flèche Wallonne last Friday.

Emma Pooley: “I only got back from Australia a week ago. After my break from cycling last year because of my studies I needed to catch up with my base fitness. I didn’t race in the second half of the 2013 season, so I had a lot of training to do. The last month I also participated in some criteriums Down Under to try to get my speed up as well. I also did some triathlons there. I see the Tour of Gelderland as a race to get the feeling back in the legs before the Flèche Wallonne and I want to help the team.”

“You don’t go to a race and not want to win. In a race like the Flèche Wallonne everything has to go right. We’re going to try for a good result. It’s a hard race to predict, it depends on how other teams will handle the race as well. You never know what’s going to happen, it’s a difficult race. There are a lot of very strong riders at the start, someone who takes off early can win as well. It doesn’t all have to be decided on that last ascent of the Mur de Huy.”

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