Lotto Belisol: Reconnaissance of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Today the Lotto Belisol riders did a recon of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The material was tested one last time and the course was thoroughly scrutinized. Nine Lotto Belisol riders took part in the ride. Non-Belgians Marcel Sieberg and Lars Bak stayed one more day in their home country after their return from the Tour of Oman. Vegard Breen and Kris Boeckmans accompanied the team and used the recon as a training for Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and also Kenny Dehaes, who lives in the neighbourhood, joined the group.
The team rode about 125 kilometers. They left at the hotel in Melle and via Zottegem they accessed Saturday’s course. The team covered the cobbles of the Haaghoek twice and left the loop around Geraardsbergen for what it was. Then Lotto Belisol set pace towards the final and did a recon of the Kruisberg, Taaienberg, Eikenberg, Wolvenberg, Leberg and Molenberg. Afterwards the cobbles of the Paddestraat, Lippenhovestraat and Lange Munte lay on the route. After about four hours on the bike the entire team returned to the hotel.
Herman Frison, sports director: “The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad stays a real classic. Because of the succession of hills and cobblestones this edition will be an elimination again. From the second passage on the Haaghoek we have to be in front. Then there are a series of hills with among other the quartet Kruisberg, Taaienberg, Eikenberg and Wolvenberg. The Lange Munte will be crucial again. But because of the renewal of this last cobblestone section you can ride much more smoothly over them. If there is some wind on Saturday, that can also play a role but we have to wait and see for that.”
“Most riders in the selection raced abroad the past weeks. To get back the feeling on the cobbles this recon was worthwhile. Thanks to this ride everybody knows the dangerous points and where one has to be in front in the run-up to the hills and cobbles. After the recon the riders visited the physiotherapist and then went home. From Thursday the riders will come together in the Van der Valk team hotel in Oostkamp and they can prepare the Belgian opening weekend in peace and quiet.”
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