Tim Wellens previews Amstel Gold Race
"The actual finale starts from the Kruisberg and the Eyserbosweg."
The cobbled Classics are over now, so it's time for the riders to head into the hills. On Wednesday 17 April, the Brabantse Pijl already is a very attractive taster of what is yet to come. This race of 195.3 kilometres starts in Leuven and finishes in Overijse. The course of the 59th edition includes no less than 31 hills. Last year's winner was Tim Wellens, who won the race after excellent teamwork by Lotto Soudal. A strong Tiesj Benoot finished in third place. Wellens looks ahead to the race, where he will start with number one.
Tim Wellens: “Last week, I had to recover a bit after the Tour of Flanders, because it was a tough race. I did my final hard training session on Sunday and my legs felt great. I had the same feeling last year, however that is no guarantee of success. You always need to await the race itself. The Tour of Flanders was not as good as I expected, but I want to confirm my excellent shape on Wednesday. I am happy to have participated in the Tour of Flanders, as I liked the experience. Finishing third in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad was amazing for me. So I look back to the Flemish Classics in a satisfied way.”
“Of course I have very nice memories of last year's Brabantse Pijl, but on the other hand that edition was dedicated to Michael Goolaerts, who died three days earlier.So I look back to it with mixed feelings, but surely that is a very nice victory on my palmares. I know the competition will look at me because I'm the defending champion, so maybe a teammate can exploit that. Bjorg Lambrecht has already shown in the Tour of the Basque Country that he is in superb shape. I hope he can go along until the finale, because his presence can mean a big advantage. Other favourites for me are Mathieu van der Poel and Julian Alaphilippe. I think they are the riders to beat.”
Line-up Lotto Soudal: Sander Armée, Bjorg Lambrecht, Tomasz Marczyński, Maxime Monfort, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.
Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Marc Wauters.