What's Cool In Road Cycling

Lotto Belisol Ladies: Preview World Championship road race women with Celine Van Severen

Saturday the women elite will ride their World Championship on the road. The Lotto Belisol Ladies will be represented by three riders: the South-African Ashleigh Moolman, the Australian Carlee Taylor and the Belgian Celine Van Severen. The distance of the race is 140 km and the women start at about a quarter past two in Montecatini Terme. After 57,2 km the riders will enter Florence, then five laps of 16,6 km have to be covered in and around the city.

In the run-up lies the Serravalle Pistoiese, the hill of 1,4 km which the men had to climb in the team time trial. On the local circuit each lap the women have to conquer a climb in Fiesole, a small city northeast of Florence, with a length of 4,37 kilometers. The gradient is average 5,2% and maximum 9%. After the descent the race continues through the Via Salviati, this gives an ascent of 600 meters at an average gradient of 10,2% and maximum 16%! Next the road goes up for a moment at about three kilometers from the end, but then it’s as good as flat to the finish at the Mandela Forum in Florence.

Federal coach Ludwig Willems selected Celine Van Severen. Together with her future teammate Liesbet De Vocht, who comes over to the Lotto Belisol Ladies next year, she’s part of the Belgian selection of six. Van Severen became 27th in the Flèche Wallonne where she worked for leader Moolman. In the beginning of September Celine rode the Tour de l’Ardèche and showed her climb capacities again among other by becoming ninth in stage four. We asked her what this selection means to her and what she expects.

Celine Van Severen: “This selection is a reward for my good season. I’ve just become 20 and it’s nice to already take part at the Worlds at the elite. It really does me good that I’m regarded to be one of the six best in Belgium for this course, it’s one of the toughest editions ever. It also gives confidence to get into the winter period.”

“Your current condition is important to get selected. A race like the Tour de l’Ardèche doesn’t lie, there are climbs up to ten kilometers. A good shape and climb capacities are necessary to be with the best. In the Flèche Wallonne this year I’ve shown that when I have all my strength, I can follow well on a high level.”

“Being immersed in the atmosphere of the Worlds gives some stress. Actually I should just enjoy this and that’s what I try to do. Like I said this is the cherry on the cake and we’ll see what comes. There’s no pressure for me, I’m here to work for the team. And of course I’ll get to learn here a lot and get experience for the following years.”

“The day after the team time trial I had a relaxed two hour ride on the bike, Tuesday it was an endurance training of about four hours. Thursday the recon is planned and for the rest it’s all about recuperating to go full on Saturday. For the victory Marianne Vos will be the most logical choice. I’d also bet on Girogia Bronzini, because she climbed very well in the Ardèche. And I also tip Anna Van der Breggen.”

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