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“My biggest goal for 2016 is to get back to my level of 2015. Fighting for the win in races with a hard profile. I also hope to ride the Olympics in Brazil or the European Championships in Nice.”

EXCLUSIVE

Photo: Tim De Waele/TDW Sport
28.04.2016 @ 09:00 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Ben Hermans of BMC stepped out of the shadow of some big names in his squad in 2015 to become a rider the team can rely on for a good GC result, finishing 8th in Oman, 6th in Yorkshire, 12th in California, 2nd in Austria, 3rd in Poland and ninth in Norway, taking a stage in the last race as well as winning Brabantse Pijl.

 

The 29 year old Belgian spoke exclusively to CyclingQuotes after finishing the Ardennes Classics. His biggest issue in 2016 has been recovering from a bad crash in Plouay last autumn. Firstly, he spoke about the fantastic 2016 he had.

 

“Last year I had a good winter, a good race program in February and March without illnesses and then nice weather in the races that suit me. First I had to prove to myself and I was lucky I could win two races in the first part of the season. Then I also got more freedom from BMC Racing Team and could take my chances in races like California, Austria, Poland and Arctic Race of Norway,” the talented climber told CyclingQuotes.

 

Hermans spoke more about the injury in Plouay and says that is why he has struggled to take big results in 2016, as he has only just started riding without any pain in his back. It is important to note that despite this injury, Hermans was fifth while teammate Philippe Gilbert won a really hard and hilly edition of Vuelta a Murcia, showing just how strong Hermans character is. 

 

“My back injury from the crash in GP Plouay was really a big bummer for my season. I broke two vertebra in my lower back and had a very long rehabilitation. I really suffered for four months, had to withstand a lot of pain on and off the bike but my form was ok at the start of the season. At this moment I can finally finish races without back pain, so I am looking forward to the moment that I can fight again for the victory in the coming races.”

 

Predictably, Hermans says his biggest goal is to return to form after fully recovering from his injury. However, he also wants to race for his country at the Olympics or the new European Championships, which only came into existence to current pros in 2015. 

 

“My biggest goal for 2016 is to get back to my level of 2015. Fighting for the win in races with a hard profile. I also hope to ride the Olympics in Brazil or the European championships in Nice.”

 

Hermans next appointment is the Tour de Yorkshire later this week, where he was so successful last year. Following that comes a block of training and then the Dauphine. At that point he will know if he will ride the Tour de France or return to Poland instead.

 

“I have some nice races on the program, like Tour of Yorkshire (where I won the final stage in 2015) and Dauphine. Hopefully I can make it to the Tour de France. If I am not selected by the team, I will try to be good in Tour of Poland again.”

 

Like the consummate professional he is, Hermans revealed he has looked at the course for the Tour of Poland, saying it is very similar to the one he excelled on in 2015. Before that race, he says he wasn’t sure if he could even top ten a race like Poland. In 2016, he knows exactly what he can do.

 

“The course in Poland is very similar to last year. If I am back at the same level as last year, I will be really motivated to do better. Last year I made it to the podium when I didn’t even expect to make it into the top 10. Now I know what’s possible, so this motivates me.”

 

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