After Gent-Wevelgem, the focus of CCC-Liv has immediately shifted to the Tour of Flanders this coming Sunday. Consequently, the team went to the Flemish Ardennes on Monday for an recon of the slightly modified final. The equipment was also being tested with the most optimal adjustment.
The team met in Geraardsbergen and then rode the exact same course to be covered on Sunday. All riders were there, except for Riejanne Markus. She is still completing a training camp in Spain and is returning later this week.
“Most of the riders that we have selected for Sunday, also competed in the race last year. But it is important to be reminded again so that you know exactly what is to come. It will not be the first time that the race is decided on the cobblestone climbs. A recon determines whether or not you will be successful on Sunday”, says sports director Jeroen Blijlevens.
Pottelberg out, Taaienberg in
Compared to the previous edition, there are two differences: the Pottelberg is no longer on the course map while the Taaienberg has been added. “We have the Taaienberg after the Kanarieberg, where the final more or less starts. The Taaienberg will make the race heavier and is expected to make it more attractive”, says Jeroen Blijlevens.
CCC-Liv tested the material on the Flemish cobblestone climbs in collaboration with the performance manager Hidde Bekhuis. Particular attention was paid to the ideal tire pressure. “It's personal for each rider. Some prefer to race with a higher or lower pressure. The weight plays a role as well.”
Fight for the highest achievable
“The tire pressure is certainly important in the Ronde, because the cobblestone climbs are on the really decisive parts”, says Marianne Vos, winner of the Ronde in 2013. “In previous years, we also did a recon of the course, but this year we did it earlier in the week. It was nice to be able to push through on the climbs. The course is now memorised which gives peace during the rest of the week.”
The Tour of Flanders is an important classic for her and CCC-Liv. The day after Gent-Wevelgem she noticed that the team is in good shape. “I saw how easily Ashleigh Moolman Pasio was racing here. She may not be the type of rider you always expect, but she can manage. I hope to end up with her in the final and to fight for the highest achievable.”
Photo credits: Cor Vos