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U23 European Championship

Seven riders represent their country at the European Championship

This week, a contingent of seven riders of the structure Intermarché-Circus-Wanty is in Drenthe, in The Netherlands, for the European Road Championships.

On Wednesday and Thursday Rein Taaramäe (Estonia) and Jelle Vermoote(Belgium) represented their country in the individual time trial (25th) and mixed relay (7th) respectively, in the run-up to the road races at the end of the week.

This Friday at 9h30 in Hoogeveen, the Walloon structure had four riders at the start of the U23 road race. Jasper Dejaegher will represent Belgium for the first time alongside Jelle Vermoote, next to Madis Mihkels (Estonia) and Francesco Busatto (Italy). The parcours will reach the Col du VAM via Coevorden, Sleen, Schoonoord and Westerbork, with five local laps summing up to 135 kilometer.

On Sunday, Lauren Molengraaf and Mike Teunissen will battle for the title in their home country. First named will start her last race in the junior category at 9h, for 68 kilometer divided in five laps around the Col du VAM. In the afternoon, Teunissen will start the elite race in Assen for a loop of 110 kilometer through the whole province of Drenthe, before reaching the top of the Col du VAM after six laps and exactly 200 kilometer of racing.

Initially, nine riders of the structure were selected for these European Championships, but Axel Huens (France) and Roel van Sintmaartensdijk(The Netherlands) had to withdraw from the selection following illness and the consequences of a crash in the Championships of Flanders in Koolskamp.

"My preparation for this European Championship has been good with several classics the last couple of weeks. I'm thinking of the GP Impanis of last Saturday, which was pretty similar to the road race here. I like this kind of difficult races, I aim to win classics like these in the future. I joined my five teammates of the Estonian national team on Monday, the day after the Gooikse Pijl. So we had time to ride the full parcours. I already raced on the Col du VAM twice, in the Ronde van Drenthe and the Olympia's Tour. But this time the local circuit will even be more selective as the top was raised. It is a typical Dutch parcours on which the positioning is important from the start. There are not many open fields, however, the wind will undoubtedly play a role to establish the hierarchy in the peloton. My feeling was good in the past races with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, I feel ready."

"Representing Italy always gives me an incredible feeling of proudness, both when wearing the Italian national champion's jersey or as a member of the Squadra Azzura. This Friday we can cherish a high ambition for the road race with the Italian team. For me personally, a good result would be a bonus in a season which has been fantastic so far. Our plan is to race as a cohesive team from the start to control the attempts in the crosswinds or other important movements. We will probably be two protected riders until the final starts on the local circuits. This season, the Brabantse Pijl was my only race on the cobbles and I finished fourteenth with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. I prepared this event by supporting my teammates of the World Team in the Italian classics. I feel rather good at this moment of the season, I'm confident that I am able to perform well."


General Classification


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