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National championships

Weekend of national championships

This weekend, 22 riders of team Intermarché-Circus-Wanty and 7 riders of Circus-ReUz-Technord will battle for the title of national champion in the road races in ten different countries. Earlier this week, both teams won one title each in the time trials.

"My ambition is to crown my fantastic first half of the season with a good performance at the Belgian championship. After my crash in Belgium Tour, my trainer Ioannis Tamouridis recommended a couple of rest days. It was the best thing I could do because since this Thursday I feel fully recovered. Usually, I bounce back quite rapidly after a setback, this gives me quite a lot of confidence." "During a course recon on Wednesday, I noticed that the large roads on the local circuit around Izegem are perfect for a bunch sprint. Before, I expect a big battle on the triple ascension of the Kemmelberg. This spring I showed that I can survive this kind of difficulties, even though I know that the level will be very high this Sunday. For me it will be the last important race at the end of an intense competition block, with several of my contenders preparing the Tour de France." "The sports direction showed great confidence in the quality of our group. We already discussed quite a lot about our approach. In Bredene-Koksijde, we managed to create a winning situation for Intermarché-Circus-Wanty at each moment of the race, by sending Dries De Pooter and Laurenz Rex in a breakaway in the hill zone around Kemmel and then by uniting everyone around me to win the sprint. Our mission is to repeat this performance at the Belgian championship on Sunday."

"I was satisfied about my form in the Belgium Tour and I feel ready for the French championship around Mont Cassel. Last month, I did the recon with Dimitri Claeys. Some kilometers after the start, we will race fifteen laps on a demanding and technical circuit. With Adrien Petit, we will have to use our characteristics as good as possible to achieve the best possible result. With the steep climb to the finish, I expect the climbers and punchers to have a better chance, even though a surprise is never excluded in a championship. One time per year it is possible to conquer the French tricolor and this is what makes this race on Sunday so special."

"I will do what I can to conclude this long and intens competition block at the Italian championship. I know that it won't be easy, because the parcours is rather hard. On Friday I did the recon of the local lap, which contains a climb of 6 kilometer and a fast descent, which we have to repeat nine times in the second race half. The strongest riders will undoubtedly be able to make a difference. In my opinion, it will be key to save as much energy as possible in the beginning and to weapon ourselves as good as possible against the heat. With my teammates Niccolò Bonifazio, Simone Petilli and our sports director Valerio Piva, we will think about the best strategy to make the jersey of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty shine this Saturday."

"A couple of weeks ago I discovered the nice work of the parcours builders during a recon. The succession of several of the most known hills in Limburg favours early attacks, however, it is still very far to the finish. I appreciate the slightly uphill finish, similar to the one on which I won in the Tour of Norway. I'm hoping for a hard race, because Boy van Poppel and me have several of the best sprinters in the world as contenders. We know that with just the two of us, it won't be easy to win the title. That's why I go into this championship feeling quite relaxed, with the ambition to show a good performance. For several years, I was part of the most important Dutch block. So I see this as a chance. We won't have to take responsibility, we can benefit from that. A medal would be a perfect scenario, but no matter the result, I will head to the Tour de France with an excellent feeling!"


General Classification


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