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"But we have a plan ready. We have been working in Ursel and arrived with confidence. We will focus on our own strength."

Photo: Etixx-QuickStep / Tim De Waele

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08.10.2016 @ 15:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

On Sunday the Worlds in Qatar will be kicked off with the team time trial. Etixx-Quick Step is one of the top favorites. "It will be a strong team that wins," Julien Vermote told Sporza. "It's a very tough job."

 

The talk of the week has been the heat. 

 

"Today my computer showed 39 degrees," said Julien Vermote. "If you come to a halt, it shows 42 degrees. The wind cools you down a bit but when you stop, it is really oppressively hot. The first few days are needed to acclimatise."

 

Together with his teammates of Etixx-QuickStep, Vermote checked the course. What is his impression? 

 

"It is disappointing. The first part is quite technical, and then you come to the main road in the direction of the Pearl.

 

"That's very fast. Yesterday we reached speeds of up to 65 kilometers per hour, with a tailwind There is very little time to recuperate. The last section on The Pearl is again quite technical.

 

"It will be a very difficult task. It is a matter of hydration, but that's not easy. It will be a strong team that wins."

 

BMC is the team to beat. 

 

"But we have a plan ready. We have been working in Ursel and arrived with confidence. We will focus on our own strength."

 

Tom Boonen will skip the race and do Paris-Tours in preparation for the road race. 

 

"He is a strong rider and has his place here," says Vermote. "But we have a strong team anyway and we are ready."

 

 

This year participation is not mandatory for the WorldTour teams and a number of teams are staying away from the Worlds, including Lotto-Soudal and Trek Segafredo. Does it reduce the value of the worlds? 

 

"I do not think there is much less prestige," saidVermote. "If a team knows that they have a chance, they will be herere. There are less teams but the strongest teams are there. It's not that it changes the value of the championships. The honor remains the same."

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