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"Rodríguez is a rider whom the climb suits even better, but if I’m having a really good day I can definitely win the Flèche Wallonne."

Photo: Sirotti

FLECHE WALLONNE

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS

JELLE VANENDERT

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS

LOTTO SOUDAL

TEAM PROFILE
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NEWS

TIM WELLENS

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS
17.04.2013 @ 10:14 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

About noon today the riders will start the 77th Flèche Wallonne, the second part of the Ardennes triptych. This WorldTour race is 205 km long and has twelve hills on its course. The finish is on the famous Mur de Huy, the climb boasting a 1.3 km length and an average gradient of 9.3%. The peloton has to conquer the Mur twice prior to the uphill finish.

 

Jelle Vanendert, the leader of Lotto Belisol, proved in the Amstel Gold Race that his condition is good. Last year he came fourth in the Flèche Wallonne, this year he aims again for a place in the top ten. Providing the opposition are, among others, last year’s winner Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha), world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). One of the guys that will help Vanendert is Tim Wellens.

 

“I’m looking forward to my first Flèche Wallonne, especially because I was in a good shape in the Brabantse Pijl last week,” explained Wellens. “Our leader is of course Jelle Vanendert and my job is to help him. In the Amstel Gold Race he has shown that his legs are very good. I might get along in a breakaway or otherwise I’m going to assist Jelle in the peloton. We have to make sure he’s always in a good position. I don’t live far from Huy so I often ride on the route. I have already climbed the Mur several times in training, but that is different from in the race itself. The Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are two of my favourite races. Tomorrow [Wednesday] a lot of my supporters will be standing along the course, also on the Mur de Huy.”

 

Team leader Jelle Vanendert had his morale boosted after the Amstel Gold Race last Sunday. “My performance in the Amstel Gold Race last Sunday has given me confidence. The difference between the second and the fifteenth position was small, the adjustment to the route has played a role in that. Tomorrow the decision will probably be made on the final climb in Huy. The Mur de Huy is a climb that suits me, if the circumstances are right the best option is to attack. You have to be careful not to jump too early on the Mur, because it’s a long and steep climb where you risk coming to a standstill. It’s about waiting for the right moment and hoping you’re the strongest man in the race. Tomorrow I want to finish in the top ten again, but of course I’m hoping for more. If you can become fourth, you can win as well. Rodríguez is a rider whom the climb suits even better, but if I’m having a really good day I can definitely win the Flèche Wallonne. Next to the usual suspects like Gilbert and Valverde I also expect Nairo Quintana (Movistar) to be among the main contenders.”

 

Lotto Belisol line-up for Flèche Wallonne:
Dirk Bellemakers, Gaëtan Bille, Bart De Clercq, Jurgen Van de Walle, Tosh Van der Sande, Dennis Vanendert, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.

 

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