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"I only found myself in the beginning of April at the Tour of the Basque Country where I felt that I could follow the best on the climbs. That convinced me that I will be good at the Ardennes classics."

Photo: Cannondale-Garming Pro Cycling

FLECHE WALLONNE

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TOM-JELTE SLAGTER

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22.04.2015 @ 11:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Today the Mur de Huy will be climbed no less than three times in Fleche Wallonne. Tom-Jelte Slagter finished fifth in the Belgian classic 12 months ago and has done his homework. 

 

"It's about timing, to find the time when you can go all out," he told De Telegraaf. The Mur which is 1.3 kilometers long with a maximum gradient of no less than 26 percent, is by far the toughest climb of the Ardennes race. "First it comes down to positioning so that you get to the steepest part in the best possible position. Then it's all about timing," the Dutchman explaineed. "If you go five seconds too early or too late, you can forget about a top result. You should know exactly how much you're currently capable of. For how long can you go full gas on the Mur de Huy? There is no fixed benchmark because you have to know exactly how strong you are every year. It's actually a pretty powerful confrontation with yourself." 

 

While he has achieved great results in 2013 and 2014, Slagter has had a difficult build-up to the classics.

 

"Since the Tour de l'Ain, I have dealt with a knee injury," he said. "We hoped that rest was the best way to recover. When I started to train in late November, the injury came back immediately. Then I panicked a bit and I lost a month of training in November. I only found myself in the beginning of April at the Tour of the Basque Country where I felt that I could follow the best on the climbs. That convinced me that I will be good at the Ardennes classics."

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