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"I’m setting out with the same confidence as in 2015. I’ve been up there in the finale of the last three races I’ve done and I’ve had better results in those races than I did last year."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

LOTTO-DSTNY

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TIESJ BENOOT

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01.04.2016 @ 09:32 Posted by Renaud Breban

Tiejs Benoot did a great performance last year at the Tour of Flanders. He crossed the finish line in 5th place 36 seconds behind Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) as a neo-pro. This year the Belgian rider wants to shine again. His tactic is to surprise the favourites.

 

"Last year was the first time I did a race of this distance and it went well for me. This year, I’m taking the start with different sensations but not with any more stress. I’m setting out with the same confidence as in 2015. I’ve been up there in the finale of the last three races I’ve done and I’ve had better results in those races than I did last year", he told Cyclingnews.

 

The Lotto Soudal rider is really motivated. His recent results give him some confidence (3rd in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, 7th in the GP E3 Harelbeck and 15th in Gent-Wevelgem) : "I can win but it’s very difficult. There are three riders ahead of everybody else and so you’ll need a bit of luck to beat them. But behind them, anything is possible and in a race of 260 kilometres, you never know."

 

The Ronde van Vlaanderen route is one of his favourite races. "The Ronde is a race that suits me. With the distance and the difficulty, you’re talking about a real endurance race. You know that a lot of things can happen but you simply don’t know when. So you have to choose the right moment – but I’m not going to reveal my plans here…"

 

He will have a strong team at the start of the 100th edition. But classics rider Jens Debusschere will not be present. The Belgian is out with broken processus transversus because of a crash in Gent-Wevelgem. "That won’t change too much. We’ll start with two protected riders instead of three, but it’s a shame that we don’t have Jens as an option for the final."

 

"The way Sagan and Cancellara are going, they are going to be hard to follow. Especially Cancellara on the Oude Kwaremont: when he goes for it there, very few will be able to follow. So you need to go before that."

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