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“It increases the chance that the race will end up in a sprint with a bigger group of riders. I have to make sure that I’m as front as possible when the race reaches its tough part. Maybe, I’ll be able to grab the victory....

Photo: LottoNL - Jumbo

BRAM TANKINK

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DENNIS VAN WINDEN

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DYLAN GROENEWEGEN

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JOS VAN EMDEN

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KUURNE-BRUXELLES-KUURNE

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MAARTEN TJALLINGII

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MAARTEN WYNANTS

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MIKE TEUNISSEN

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MORENO HOFLAND

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OMLOOP HET NIEUWSBLAD

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ROBERT WAGNER

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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TOM VAN ASBROECK

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23.02.2016 @ 16:33 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After races in Australia, Qatar, Oman and the South of Europe, cyclists face the first classics of the 2016 season in Belgian. Team LottoNL-Jumbo will use a mix of experience and young, eager riders in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne this Saturday and Sunday.
 
The forecast shows no heavy wind and no rain, but cold temperatures. As a result, the winning group could be bigger than otherwise.
 
“The course profile will make a difference,” Nico Verhoeven, sports director during the opening weekend, said. “The riders will make this race a tough one.”
 
“The weather forecast is perfect to me,” sprinter Moreno Hofland added. “It increases the chance that the race will end up in a sprint with a bigger group of riders. I have to make sure that I’m as front as possible when the race reaches its tough part. Maybe, I’ll be able to grab the victory.”
 
“We don’t have one specific leader,” Verhoeven continued. “Several riders are able to compete in the race’s final and have a strong finish, as well. When the race explodes, we have to be in front with as many riders as possible. It’s all about reading the race afterwards. We have a nice mix of experienced riders and young men who are eager to prove themselves. They will get enough space to show off. We are going to race with conviction.”
 
One of those young men is Mike Teunissen, who will debut in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

 

“I’ve been watching the finals of the last years and previewed the course,” Teunissen says. “I’m someone who races on intuition and likes to ride aggressively, though. These races are perfect for cyclists like me. It’ll be beautiful because I know that aggressiveness may be rewarded. I want our team to light up the final.”
 

Team LottoNL-Jumbo will have a specific plan in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne the day after.

 

“Sometimes the race’s history tells us how to plan," Verhoeven explained. “Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne has always been a race for the sprinters. It will knock out many in the hill section midway in, expect more than 100 of the 200 riders to be dropped. Afterwards, it will probably end up in a bunch sprint. We plan to support Dylan Groenewegen, who already proved to be a winner in the first month of the season.”

 

“This is my first real target of the season,” Groenewegen said. “I’m looking forward to it with a lot of confidence. My victory in Valencia gave me some confidence. To have one victory already feels good for the team and me. I’m expecting to be able to fight for the win on Sunday. It would be perfect for me if we reach the line with a big group of riders. This race can be controlled easily, but if it ends up being an open race, I don’t mind either. Our team is strong enough to fix that.”
 
Line-up Omloop het Nieuwsblad: 
Tom van Asbroeck, Jos van Emden, Moreno Hofland, Timo Roosen, Bram Tankink, Mike Teunissen, Robert Wagner and Maarten Wynants.

 

Line-up Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne:  
Twan Castelijns, Dylan Groenewegen, Tom Leezer, Bram Tankink, Maarten Tjallingii, Robert Wagner, Dennis van Winden and Maarten Wynants.
 

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