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“This year I am one of the guys who have a protected status. It’s an advantage for the three of us, the pressure is divided. That’s a big difference compared to being the only leader."

Photo: Lotto Soudal






18.04.2015 @ 15:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Amstel Gold Race will be held tomorrow. Lotto Soudal sports director Herman Frison talks about the ambitions of the Lotto Soudal team. Tim Wellens is one of the three leaders, it’s the second time he rides the Amstel.


“We go to the Ardennes classics with another type of riders than to the Flemish spring races," Frison said. "With Jelle Vanendert, Tony Gallopin and Tim Wellens we have three riders who can set a top result. Jelle has proven in the past that he can conquer a place on the podium. Tony and Tim have proven it in other races.


"The previous editions have taught us that the race is often decided on the ultimate ascent of the Cauberg. I think Jelle, Tim and Tony each have their specific qualities to play a role, depending on the weather conditions. I hope all three of them are in front in the final.


“We know our opponents. BMC with Gilbert, Katusha with Rodriguez, Movistar with Valverde, Etixx – Quick-Step with Kwiatkowski and Orica – GreenEdge with Gerrans and Matthews. They will take control of the race. Everyone is convinced they know where the race will be decided, everyone knows where Gilbert likes to attack, everyone knows who’s fast at the finish.


"The mental aspect is important as well. It’s all about being attentive and strong enough to choose a good position and to take off on the right moment after more than 250 kilometres with lots of turns and a route that goes up and down all the time."


“This is only my second Amstel Gold Race, the course is almost the same as last year, but the way I stand at the start is different," Wellens said. "Last year I had to open the race, now I feel a lot stronger, thanks to the preparation with training camp on Tenerife and the Vuelta al País Vasco. The circumstances on training camp were perfect, beautiful weather, good roads, many uphill kilometres. Last year I was limited to follow in the Basque Country, now I could make the race.


“This year I am one of the guys who have a protected status. It’s an advantage for the three of us, the pressure is divided. That’s a big difference compared to being the only leader.


"The important points on the course are obvious. From the Kruisberg and Eyserbosweg on the route goes over very narrow roads, where it is difficult to return from the background. Then we reach the Cauberg really quickly, the place to be. Last year I was part of a group that took off just before the climb, and although we stayed pretty long in front, the favourites still caught us.”



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