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"I’ll have to be in the front rows of the peloton all the time, because you can lose the race in between crucial parts of the course as well. The ideal scenario for me is that it will be an open race and not like last year, when...

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29.03.2013 @ 15:18 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Since the beginning of the season Flanders has been looking forward to this one big race, the Tour of Flanders. The past few weeks the favourites have been able to test their legs on hills that will be on the menu on Sunday as well. 

 

The 97th edition of the Tour of Flanders will start, like every year, on the marketplace of Bruges and is 256 km long. Despite all the commotion the riders will ride on the new course via Kortrijk into the hill section. In that hill section three big loops will be made in the Flemish Ardennes before finishing in Oudenaarde.

 

The Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg will again be decisive points in this “Ronde”. These hills are both programmed three times together with eleven other climbs and seven cobblestone sections. Big favourites to win the 97th “Ronde” are without any doubt Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Leopard) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale), who won the E3 Harelbeke and Ghent-Wevelgem respectively, both in an impressive manner. In those same races Jürgen Roelandts and Jens Debusschere of Lotto-Belisol proved to be more than just ready and they’ll be hoping to have the strength to give repeat-performances on Sunday.

 

“The past few weeks we had a lot of bad luck with punctures for Jens Debusschere and Jürgen Roelandts when they were riding in a great position, likely to be successful,” said sports director Herman Frison. “If about forty riders are left after a first big selection, then at least three Lotto Belisol riders will have to be part of that group. Our leader this Sunday is without any doubt Jürgen Roelandts, but we do expect something from Jens Debusschere who was riding excellently in Ghent-Wevelgem.”

 

“It will be the first time that I will ride the “Ronde” on the new course,” explained Jürgen Roelandts, “but that doesn’t seem a disadvantage to me, because what counts is the state of your legs. I’ll have to be in the front rows of the peloton all the time, because you can lose the race in between crucial parts of the course as well. The ideal scenario for me is that it will be an open race and not like last year, when it only exploded at the end. The last weeks Fabian Cancellara has proven to be his old self again, so I’ll definitely have to keep an eye on him. I wasn’t completely free of worries this week because of that collision in Ghent-Wevelgem, but I don’t think that will bother me on Sunday.”

 

Lotto Belisol line-up for Tour of Flanders:

Lars Bak, Jens Debusschere, André Greipel, Marcel Sieberg, Vicente Reynes, Jürgen Roelandts, Tosh Van der Sande and Frederik Willems.

 

Starting at 14.30 on Sunday you can follow the action from the Tour of Flanders live here on Cyclingquotes.com

 

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