What's Cool In Road Cycling

Team Belkin travels to Qatar with butterflies

The Tour of Qatar, February 9 to 14, opens the season for seven of eight Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM riders taking part. After the Tour Down Under, Graeme Brown is the only one of the eight who already has racing kilometres in his legs. Theo Bos is among the riders debuting.

“I’ve had a great winter,” Bos said. “I haven’t had any crashes or injuries and I haven’t been ill. The training camps were excellent and compared to previous years my shape seems very good. I’m excited to get back to racing again.” Bos will aim for a stage win on the pancake flat Qatari roads. Because the time trial is nearly 11 kilometres, he said that he will struggle to win the overall. “My goal is to take a stage victory. The time trial is just a bit too long for me. The stages will be hard because of the wind. I expect André Greipel will be the man to beat. He looked very strong in the Tour Down Under.”

‘Butterflies in my stomach’
Sports Director Jan Boven looks forward to beginning the season. “I even have butterflies in my stomach,” the Dutchman said. “The Tour of Qatar is a nice race to start the season with.” Boven helped guide the riders at two very good training camps this winter. However, he said that the races require much more. “Of course, the boys still have some questions about their shape. In Qatar, we’ll see where we stand, but I’m confident as we’ve been planning. Winning a stage is obviously the goal, but gaining race rhythm is just as important. Particularly for the classic riders.”

Markus and Bol
Boven said he hopes that besides Bos, Barry Markus and Jetse Bol have a chance to win. Markus finished second twice to Mark Cavendish in last year’s race. “Jetse had a good 2013 campaign and made ​important ​steps.”

Team line-up:
Jetse Bol, Lars Boom, Theo Bos, Graeme Brown, Jos van Emden, Barry Markus, Maarten Tjallingii and Robert Wagner.

Sports Director:
Jan Boven

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