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"The core in the classics is wider. If we sit in front with more riders, our chances are better. That motivates me because it brings the group to a higher level."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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NEWS

JURGEN ROELANDTS

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS

LOTTO SOUDAL

TEAM PROFILE
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NEWS
15.01.2016 @ 13:04 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With Jürgen Roelandts and Jens Debusschere, Lotto Soudal has two strong riders for the Flemish spring. Sporza made a double interview with the two former Belgian champions. "Sometimes I ride too much with my heart and then you pay the bill," explains Roelandts.

 

Sporza asked the pair a series of questions.

 

Can one of them win a classic?

Jens Debusschere: "I think is set to win a classic in the next few years. He has already proven that he is in the mix everywhere. I am getting a little better every year. This year I hope to take the final step and contender for the win.”

 

Jürgen Roelandts: "The core in the classics is wider. If we sit in front with more riders, our chances are better. That motivates me because it brings the group to a higher level."

 

2015 Gent Wevelgem: Roelandts’ solo ride comes to nothing

Jens Debusschere: "I was hoping Jürgen would stay ahead because I knew it would be hard for me. I did not have a wonderful day but in the races in which Jürgen feels so good, he should perhaps listen more and not do what he wants.

 

"In Gent-Wevelgem, I mentioned a few times that he had to stay quiet, but he was gone. He felt so good and wanted to do it in a big way, but maybe he should try to win in an economical way.”

 

Jürgen Roelandts: "I race much on intuition and my heart, but I pay the bill. I'll have to stay closer to Jens."

 

Are Debusschere and Roelandts also rivals?

Jens Debusschere: "When I win or Jürgen wins, I'm equally happy. Gent-Wevelgem and Dwars door Vlaanderen suit me the best. For De Ronde and Paris-Roubaix, it is different. I need a few more years.”

 

Jürgen Roelandts: "I look forward to riding the finales as a pair. And I'll be equally happy if he wins. Do I miss the ambitions? I train very passionately and my career will only be successful if I win one of the spring classics."

 

Tiesj Benoot: from domestique to captain

Jens Debusschere: "We can no longer regard Tiesj as a helper, he will be a captain in the next classics. If it is a sprint, then he can certainly do something for us.”

 

Jürgen Roelandts: "Tiesj is very important. He has proven he can get results. He can close a gap for Jens or me when it comes to a sprint. He can ride away from a small group. He has the engine to do something in the classics.”

 

The 2015 season

Jens Debusschere: "It was very important to achieve a big win and I succeeded in Tirreno-Adriatico. In the classics I also made a serious step. Hopefully, this year will be even better..."

 

Jürgen Roelandts: "To skip the Tour was a very good choice. I found the form in time for the classics. I rode around with such a good feeling and that was evident in Gent-Wevelgem. Maybe I did too much. But I rode finales and you learn a lot from that.”

 

The Belgian Championships: Roelandts unable to succed Debusschere

Jens Debusschere: "Most of the courses suit us and after the classics we are building for the Belgian Championships. This year it will certainly be no different.”

 

Jürgen Roelandts: "I have always said I would love to do the Flemish classics in the Belgian jersey because I failed to do so due to injury when I was the champion for the first time. I missed an opportunity in 2015, but there will be other Belgian Championships with a  course for me.”

 

The Tour: with Debusschere, without Roelandts

Jens Debusschere: "I am very happy that I've done the Tour. It was an experience. I had already done the Vuelta, but it does not compare. I crashed in the first stage and that hampered me. That was a bit of a stumbling block during the first week. But I knew that the condition was good and I proved it.”

 

Jürgen Roelandts: "I do not regret that I did not ride the Tour. I wanted to be good in the autumn races. It was not bad to miss a year.”

 

The non-selection for the World Championships in Richmond

Jens Debusschere: "The selected riders had their place in the selection. Everyone did wel.l You need helpers and men who are willing to sacrifice themselves. You have to have a varied selection and it will always be so.”

 

Jürgen Roelandts: "Maybe I was a little surprised, but Carlo Bomans maybe wanted to go for a sprint with Boonen and therefore wanted people around Tom. I respect that.”

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