What's Cool In Road Cycling

Lotto Belisol: Tosh Van der Sande talks about his début in a Grand Tour

After ten stages the riders can enjoy the first rest day of the Vuelta. This is also the case for Lotto Belisol rider Tosh Van der Sande who makes his début in a Grand Tour. Just before the team started a short training ride this morning, Tosh made some time to share his experiences.

Tosh Van der Sande: “The rest day is very welcome, especially mentally. My first appearance in a Grand Tour pleases me well. I had a hard time the first three stages after the team time trial, I had to find the right rhythm. But since then I have noticed progression and I can follow better uphill. I’m definitely not afraid of arriving outside the time limit. Although it’s never flat here in Spain, what is said to be a ‘flat stage’ in the road book is comparable to an Ardennes stage. There are now stages to come which suit me, in which there is a tough final and a select group can sprint for victory.”

“Up till now I had already once raced ten days in a row. Today we have a rest day and tomorrow the time trial, which is relatively calm as well. Then there are five stages and then it’s the second rest day. Physically I’ll be fine to cross that number of ten days. I’m sleeping in the same room as Jurgen Van de Walle and he has already given me tips about how to survive a Grand Tour. You have to take care of yourself; go to bed on time, eat sufficiently and drink much water. During the race you have to be alert that you don’t constantly burden your body.”

“The Vuelta is ideal as first Grand Tour, because there isn’t too much nervousness. I’ll be satisfied with my Vuelta if I will be able to complete it without any big problems. I’d love to set a nice result in one of the upcoming stages, like a place in top ten. The Angliru on the penultimate day will be riding à bloc the entire ascent and then you have as good as reached the finish line of the Vuelta, then it’s only the last stage to Madrid. I’ll be happy when I arrive at the foot of the Angliru, then I’ll gladly do the climb. Although I’m sure I’m going to curse a few times (laughs). I’ll definitely suffer, but when I stand at the top I can enjoy the feeling.”

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