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"After the Spring campaign in 2013 we decided to part ways because Greenedge would focus less on the Classics. Garmin-Sharp is a team with huge quality when it comes to these races. We hope to be strong as a team," Sebastian Lange...

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JOHAN VAN SUMMEREN

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SEBASTIAN LANGEVELD

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27.02.2014 @ 17:08 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

The former Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Sebastian Langeveld hopes to make further improvements on his results in cobbled classics this season, as he joined the Garmin-Sharp formidable duo of Nick Nuyens and Johan Vansummeren after two years with Orica-GreenEDGE characterized by twists of fortune in Flemish races.

 

"After the Spring campaign in 2013 we decided to part ways because Greenedge would focus less on the Classics. Garmin-Sharp is a team with huge quality when it comes to these races. We hope to be strong as a team," Langeveld told Wielerflits.

 

Still, Langeveld managed to achieve some respectable results in the cobbled classics in the Orica-GreenEDGE outfit last year, finishing 5th in E3 Harelbeke, 10th in Ronde van Vlaanderen and 7th in Paris-Roubaix, his words are suggesting, however, that he wouldn’t get sufficient support from the Australian team this season.

 

The 29-year old Dutchman won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2011, he is not interested in repeating this success this year though, as he aims to be in the top disposition for the most important among the cobbled classics: Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix.

 

"I want to peak a bit later this year. That's the difference with 2011 when the Omloop was my primary goal," Langeveld said.

 

"In my first race this season, in Dubai, I felt that my form is good but am not at 100 per cent yet. I want to use Paris-Nice to get to that point. I hope to be good in the other Classics. Therefore I'm going to the Omloop relatively stress-free." 

 

Obviously, speaking in the exactly same mood as Tom Boonen of Omega Pharma-Quick Step did earlier this week, Langeveld still hopes for a good performance in the coming cobbles season’s opener and he claims to be ready if any opportunity arises.

 

"I hope to be there in the final of the race. When there is a chance to win, I won't let it slip. I'll give it 200 per cent."

 

It also comes as no surprise that Garmin-Sharp rider points out to the Belgian as a man to beat this spring, considering his astonishing performances in first races of the 2014 season.

 

"He's very motivated to go for a result after last year's crash [in the Tour of Flanders]. I hope to be among a group that sits just below Boonen in terms of favourites with riders like [Greg] Van Avermaet, [Jürgen] Roelandts and [Luca] Paolini. If I succeed in that, everything is possible." 

 

There will be no appointed Garmin-Sharp captain for cobbled races, as the American team aims to play as many cards as possible with their formidable trio of Langeveld, former Paris-Roubaix winner Vansummeren and Nuyens, claiming to finally regain his confidence and motivation ahead of this spring classics season.

 

They are expected to stay together and use their strength in numbers in the finale, the most recent Team Sky’s experiences with this kind of tactical approach suggested, however, that it too often ends up with many leaders chasing their own luck without any support from other team-mates.

 

"We don't have one captain for a specific race. We'll try to ride strong collectively and end up with as many men as possible in the final to go for victory. The more aces we have to play in the final, the bigger the chances to win are." 

 

Langeveld bounced back with a solid performances in Flemish classics last season after he crashed out of Ronde van Flaanderen in 2012, but he acknowledges that improving on his past results will be a difficult task while facing whole teams focused on supporting their leaders in cobbled monuments.

 

"There are only five or six chances for a victory," Langeveld told Algemeen Dagblad.

 

"The pro peloton consists of 200 riders with exceptional results in the youth ranks. Winning is not so evident as it seems. It gets more difficult every year because entire teams now have these races as targets while they prepare during the winter. And then you have guys like Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen and Peter Sagan."

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