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“We're bringing a young team that is still getting experience for races like this. We don't put expectations too high, but we will try our best and hope to mix it up in the final.”

Photo: Feltet.dk / Henriette Brandt

DRUIVENKOERS – OVERIJSE

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TEAM STÖLTING

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22.08.2016 @ 23:52 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Stölting have announced their line-ups for Druivenkoers Overijse and Schaal Sels.

 

The Druivenkoers (1.1) has been held in the Belgian town of Overijse since 1961. Seven climbs, each of which has to be ridden several teams, make the race one for strong puncheurs.

The start and finish line is on the Stationsplein in Overijse, from where the 196.4 km race starts with three laps of a longer circuit of 31 km that includes the climbs of Terspautlosweg, Groeneweg, Waversesteenweg, Abstraat, and Bergstraat. This is followed by eight laps of a 13 km circuit with the Jean Tombeurstraat and the 700 m Schavei climbing at an average of 6% that is also part of the Brabantse Pijl spring classic. From the top of the climb, there are just over 2 km to go to the finish.

Team Stölting Service Group fields a young squad in Overijse. Thirty-seven year old Michael Reihs (DEN) is the road captain, his experience will be invaluable for Alex Kirsch (LUX), Thomas Koep (GER), Mads Pedersen (DEN), Sven Reutter (GER), Jonas Tenbrock (GER) and the stagiaires Moritz Backofen (GER) and Willi Willwohl (GER).

Sports Director Jochen Hahn (GER) says: “We're bringing a young team that is still getting experience for races like this. We don't put expectations too high, but we will try our best and hope to mix it up in the final.”

On Sunday, Merksem hosts the Schaal Sels (1.1) that, while almost completely flat, is a very difficult race with one third of the parcours on cobbles or gravel.

Held for the first time in 1921, the Schaal Sels is raced near the Belgian-Dutch border that it crosses several times. The share of non-tarmacked roads has increased dramatically since 2015, giving the race its own special character. In the 195.5 km race there is over 33 km of cobblestone sections and another 33 km of gravel roads, with the parcours winding through small roads, doubling back on itself and using every sector several times. Positioning and bike handling will play a big role, and punctures or other mechanicals will probably influence the race for more than a few riders.

Six riders will participate for Team Stölting Service Group. Danes Lasse Norman Hansen and Rasmus Quaade return to the road after riding on the track at the Olympics where they both won bronze medals. They are joined by Rasmus Guldhammer (DEN), Michael Reihs (DEN), Sven Reutter (GER), and Jonas Tenbrock (GER).

Sports Director Jochen Hahn (GER) says: “The Schaal Sels is a truly difficult race – this shows that you don't have to have climbs to build a challenging course. It will be important to be in front at the right time and then also have the legs to respond to attacks. Again we come with a young squad and haven't set ourselves a rigid goal.”

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