What's Cool In Road Cycling

Lotto Belisol: Preview Dwars door Vlaanderen

The day after tomorrow, Wednesday March 26, Dwars door Vlaanderen is scheduled. This semi-classic race is part of the Europe Tour. The finish lies in Waregem. That city is not only visited by the peloton Wednesday, but also by American president Barack Obama. His visit has an influence on the organization and the track.

The race is 200.8km long. The riders start in Roeselare and finish in Waregem. Between kilometer 90 and kilometer 193 there are eleven hills. First of all the riders will climb the Nieuwe Kwaremont, among other followed by the Eikenberg and the Taaienberg. Then the riders have to cover the pair Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, with about 30 kilometer to go. Subsequently there are three more hills. The last one is Nokereberg, whereof the top is 7.9 kilometer away from the finish line. Dwars door Vlaanderen also has three cobblestone sections: Holleweg (1500m), Haaghoek (1700m) and Varent (2000m). Jens Debusschere outlines his expectations for Dwars door Vlaanderen.

Jens Debusschere: “A first crucial moment in Dwars door Vlaanderen will be the Eikenberg. Thereafter we have got 60 kilometers to go. I have learned that if you’re not in the front at the Eikenberg, your race is over. There the peloton will fall into pieces, and you have to be in the front otherwise it’s over. But the real final will start at the Oude Kwaremont, which is most of the case when this hill lies on the route. The better riders will get away there and strive for the victory in Waregem.”

“It doesn’t matter to me how big the leading group will be that rides to the finish, as long as I am in it. A final where everyone is exhausted with no one breaking away and just heading for the sprint would be a perfect script for me. I want to show that I can handle these classic races and go for the podium, thereafter I can think about winning. But with my qualities as a sprinter I could have a chance to win the race if we sprint for the victory.”

“Assuming to win a classic or semi-classic race is very difficult. First of all I want to prove that I can ride a good final and perform as good as possible. I’m hoping for a place in the top ten, the higher the better. My confidence has risen compared to last year and I’m also stronger in this period than in 2013. Also the team is stronger. I am confident about it, we are ready for the Flemish classics.”

Selection Lotto Belisol: Kris Boeckmans, Vegard Breen, Sean De Bie, Jens Debusschere, Kenny Dehaes, Pim Ligthart, Jonas Van Genechten and Frederik Willems.
Sports directors: Herman Frison and Bart Leysen.

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