The Belgian selection, except Laurens De Plus, explored Thursday morning the world cup track in Austria. A trip of 120 kilometers, for a number of riders even more on the counter, because they add another small loop. “It is not easy to be as a result of this drive”, wanted Greg Van Avermaet after lost.
The Belgians left around 9: 30 a.m. at the ploeghotel in Ebbs, hence it went with the bike in the direction of the local circuit in Innsbruck. “90 miles we had on the counter before we have that circuit performance”, said coach De Weert. “Now the boys to the local loop with Mountain Igls, (a col of 7.9 km and 5.7 percent on average ) and then they climb the final climb.”
That final climb does to the imagination. The Gramartboden is 2.8 km long, about 11.5 percent on average, with stretches of up to 28% and thus lies only in the last round on the course.
After the end of the exploration talked to the Belgians, even with the press before they bus back to the teamhotel in Ebbs were brought in. “It really will be a very tough course,” knew Of the Team to tell. “Even in the run-up to the local rounds (7x) you have a few slopes and then there is that climb of nearly 8 km, which we seven times have to do and then the final climb. That climb is really difficult and it will be difficult for me to be up there with the best guys to drive up to. I had to climb last week Friday already explored, but when on a slow pace. Today I was doing that at a decent pace and that gives a very different feeling. It really is ‘limit’ for me, is rather difficult. I will really have to be on this track the world cup to win. I’m going to definitely try and see how far I have come, but I repeat: that last climb is really difficult.”
Van Avermaet was on a tricky course in Rio have olympic champion. “Yes, but that final climb here is difficult because he is shorter and steeper and then it’s still barely eight kilometers to the finish line. In Rio it was after the last climb is a 25 km towards the finish. You can that matches not compare. I would put this trail more compare with the Clasica San Sebastian and I am always well, but it is also very difficult for me to get the price to win. We’ll see, I will bring very good legs, should have on Sunday.”
Dylan Teuns sounded again delighted after the exploration. “It was a very interesting exploration. Of course, it really is quite a tough trail, but after all the statements in advance, I had worse expected. I am positively surprised about that final climb, I still had terrible expected. In the Vuelta, we have several of those cols for the wheels slid and I was there a couple of times close to the win, so yes, I am content. This is me. I’m glad that Vuelta in the legs, especially with such an arrival.”
Tim Wellens knew the track already after the exploration in June with the Belgian team, the surprises there were for him not. “It is still as difficult as when”, he chuckled. “That race remains a really tough one, but I feel good and I have hard to work. For me Valverde and Alaphilippe absolute favourite, but the Belgian team is strong in width, and of course Dylan and I also not bad on such slopes. If we the day of our lives, we are able to that men also beat (laughs), but easy is certainly not. The best tactic is attacking rates, to make sure that there is always a fellow countryman is in the front, and that we should not pursue.”
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