What's Cool In Road Cycling

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad will be the first race for newcomer Willeke Knol

This weekend the new road season kicks off for the Lotto Soudal women’s team with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad as first race. One of the riders at the start will be Willeke Knol. The 24-year-old Dutch rider is new in the team, time to get to know her better.

Willeke Knol: “Together with Claudia Lichtenberg I made the move from Liv Plantur to Lotto Soudal. We get along really well. The fact that she would sign for Lotto Soudal definitely helped me make the decision to join this team. During the training camp in Calpe last week I got ill, but I was able to train with the others the first few days. It’s a really fun group and it was good to get to know the others better.”

“One-day-races are my strength. I love echelons and like to go full gas on the flat. The love for echelons came spontaneously, I noticed I was good at it and immediately liked it. The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Ronde van Vlaanderen are two of my favourite races. Before the team training camp I went to Flanders to do a recon of the key points of the courses of both races. It’s fantastic to ride the Classics you always used to watch on TV. I am really pleased that also the finale of the Ronde van Vlaanderen for women will now be broadcasted live. We ride beautiful races that can be very exciting, so it’s definitely worth to get more attention.”

“I will have a double task this year. I will help my teammates on the one hand, but grab my own chance in races that are more flat. There are a lot of climbers in our team, it will be my job to make sure they are positioned well before the crucial phases. I want to have a go of my own during the Ronde van Drenthe (12 March) and Drentse Acht van Westerveld (13 March), last year I also did well in Drenthe (Willeke finished 6th at Acht van Westerveld, LTS). I have also marked the National Championships at the end of June. You always want to be good during the national road race, but it are often courses that don’t suit you completely. This year the race will take place in South-Holland on a course that I like, so that’s an extra motivation. It will be a flat course with a chance of echelons. I will have Anouk Rijff by my side.”

Apart from Willeke also these five riders will start the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad tomorrow: Jessie Daams, Sofie De Vuyst, Lieselot Decroix, Claudia Lichtenberg and Susanna Zorzi.

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.