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"I have said to myself that I do not want to go for my own success, I only want to help. I no longer need all the stress that comes with the leadership."

Photo: Lotto Soudal




23.12.2016 @ 16:20 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After one year at Katusha, Jurgen Van den Broeck (33) will spend the next two years with LottoNL-jumbo. "I do not want to be a leader anymore," he tells Het Nieuwsblad. "I made the switch. Here I am Steven Kruijswijk’s domestique. I want to get the pink jersey with him.”


It was a very relaxed Jurgen Van den Broeck who attended the LottoNL-jumbo presentation. He was almost in vacation mode, without stress.


"I'm here without stress," he said. "I look back on the last year with satisfaction. It was good until I crashed again in the Tour (and broke his right shoulder in the eleventh stage, ed.). After that it was difficult, but I have compensated with beautiful moments at home due to the birth of my son, Vince. After the tour it was just very hard to get back to a high level because I could not train hard due to the injury. Before the Eneco Tour (his last race of the year) I only had one week of training in the legs. That's not muchand I also felt very bad there. It was a difficult season end, but now I am recovered from all injuries and I feel back to normal."


The Belgian is happy with his move to LottoNL-jumbo.


"When I was at Katusha, I was a bit lost between nationalities," he says. "Here I speak the language of most of the other riders, that's a big difference. You feel right at home, right in the group. It feels good. I also have a very positive impression of the team. The outsideworld gets a very different picture of the team than what we get to see. It's completely professional. I'm even shocked how good this team is put together behind the scenes.”


The role of Van den Broeck is evident.


"I'm here to help Steven. In the early part of the season, I want to help the young riders in the other races and provide opportunities, give them advice and if the opportunity arises, I will go for a stage win somewhere"


But in the first place he is Steven Kruijswijk’s lieutenant.


"That was my condition to come here," he says surprisingly. "I have said to myself that I do not want to go for my own success, I only want to help. I no longer need all the stress that comes with the leadership. I did that for many years and had moments when it went well, but sometimes it was bad and I'm very often judged by those bad moments. I've just had enough of it. I would rather help someone else now, someone who can finish it off like Steven. Yes, I can draw satisfaction, I believe in him.”


Will he ride the Tour?


"That is not a foregone conclusion. It’s possible but not certain.  I want to improve my time trial again this year. It is given a lot of attention here and the Belgian Time Trial Championship is a target (in 2015 Van den Broeck was Belgian champion).”


His program consists of the Tour of Valencia, Ruta del Sol, Paris-Nice, the Tour of Catalonia and the Giro. Prior to the Giro, he will also do a three-week altitude training camp together with a large part of the other Giro riders.



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