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"And to compensate for that, we will organize races in Turkey where nobody wants to go. And in China, where no one knows how it will be. I think it's all managed very badly."

Photo: Bettini Photo




13.12.2016 @ 16:09 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jan Bakelants is currently at a training camp in Calpe. The AG2R rider spoke to Sporza and revealed that he is critical of the UCI and the planned reforms. "I think it's all managed very badly."


"In this moment I see that many things are going the wrong direction," Bakelants told the Belgian TV channel. "I ca not understand that the UCI allows that teams will be built only to find out later that the money is not there. Then 20 riders are on the streets in December."


"I also do not understand that cycling organizers in China can say, ‘We are going to organize something’ and that the race immediately gets WorldTour status


"For 10 years, we have tried to reduce the number of races to try to get the best riders at the start in all races.


"Now there are, I do not know, 80 race days added to the World Tour calendar and we are still talking about 37 on the cobbles in the Flemish spring.


"And to compensate for that, we will organize races in Turkey where nobody wants to go. And in China, where no one knows how it will be. I think it's all managed very badly."


What do Bakelants actually wants in the new season? 


"My season will start in Australia, where I will start the Tour Down Under with ambition. I have been riding well there in the past and hope to do it again.”


"Last year I had a good start to the season, but that was in smaller races (in France, ed.) that what outside the attention.


"If I had done the same in a race like the Tour Down Under, it would have yielded more return. Before the hilly classics, I would also like to show myself at the Strade Bianche and Milan-Sanremo.”


The Tour of Flanders could be on the program. 


"That De Ronde will start in Antwerp appeals to me. It's nice that is is so close to home.


"I would be very excited to be at the start, but it is the team that decides. If I ride De Ronde, I will not have chance to play a leading role. I will be there to support newcomers Oliver Naesen and Stijn Vandenbergh."


Will he again ride the Tour. 


"I hope to be back in action even though I did not have great success this year for a long time. I had hoped that it would click just one time. But if I go to the Tour again, it will be to support leader Romain Bardet. I am convinced that he can do as well as his second place this year. And why not better? "



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