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"I'd like to win a UCI race if I get the chance. And why not win a youth classification too? But mostly, I want to show what I can do in bunch sprints to become a sprinter in my own right."

Photo: Sirotti




21.10.2014 @ 14:03 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Boris Vallee had a quiet first year in the professional ranks where he learned the trade at the Lotto Belisol team. He showed great sprinting skills in the Tour de Pologne and in 2015 he wants to develop himself into a sprinter.


Last year, Boris Vallee announced that he had signed a contract with Lotto Belisol. A year later he can report on his first pro season that included both good and bad times, a great team atmosphere and experience in WorldTour races


"I'm really happy with my season and the staff is happy too so it is completely positive," he told Directvelo in an interview. "Earlier this year, I did not expect to do so many big events. Basically I had a program focused on smaller races that were not too difficult when I had to ride for Andre (Greipel) and Tony (Gallopin). I did more than what was asked of me and I always gave the maximum in the races. Throughout the season, the staff decided to put me in beautiful WorldTour events such as the Tour of Catalonia, the Tour of Poland and the Tour of Beijing. This has been a great experience."


Vallee ended his season in the Tour of Beijing which was a completely new experience for the Belgian youngster.


"We came with a lot of goals. It was a stage win but also the overall ranking with [Adam] Hansen. It was a great race but the conditions were not optimal. In the first stage, I was completely ony my limit with the wind, jet lag and smog. Afte the first stages, I felt better.


"Furthermore, it was not easy with the food. Due to the clembuterol risk, I did not want to eat a single bite of mear. I only ate cereal bars. You can get used to do that for a week. And the public was pretty special. In China, the fans don't get many chances to see the big riders. So in some places, especially near cities, there were lots enormous crowds. It was loaded with people. And at times, in the mountains, there was hardly anyone because there was no house in sight. It really depended on the area."


In his first year, Vallee has mainly been working as a domestique but he has more ambitions for the future


"That is how my season has bee planned," he said. "I did specific training to be a second or third sprinter but I also learned to ride on the front and control the breakaways. I was a man in the shadows. It's something you do not realize on TV but I always did my work. This year I have dedicated myself 100% to the team. Next year I will have a slightly more important role. I'll be the first sprinter or the last lead-out man. It will depend on the race.



"In the future, I want to be a good sprinter and a good prologue rider. That's what my training will focus on. The prologue is one of my biggest regrets. In the junior and U23 ranks, I was very good in this discipline but this year I had a little more trouble expressing myself in this area. But I will train to try to do well next year. This is important, especially in small one-week stage races because it allows you to be well-placed overall right from the beginning."


Vallee already has a rough idea about his 2015 schedule.


"I should start the season in Australia at the Tour Down Under. And normally I will do a lot of stage races of five or six days like the Tour of Catalonia. These are races that suit me quite well because the competition in the sprints is not huge. And I do pretty well on small climbs so when it comes down to groups of sixty riders, I can use my power. I should also do the classics, like Paris-Roubaix, but I won't do a grand tour. I think I could do well over three weeks but the team has more expectations of me in one-week races. I'd like to win a UCI race if I get the chance. And why not win a youth classification too? But mostly, I want to show what I can do in bunch sprints to become a sprinter in my own right."


For now, it is about preparing for the coming season.


"I will take a rest for 20-25 days in total but I'll spread it out during the winter. I will not do it all at once. I will do a week without the bike and then I'll start slowly with bodybuilding, swimming, mountain biking and even a bit of skiing. But I can not really take it easy with my preparation for 2015 because the Tour Down Under starts in January and I hope to be in good shape."



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