Benoot climbs to fourth overall in Tour de Suisse
The 25-year-old Belgian finishes seventh in closing stage.
After his crash in the Tour de France which forced him to abandon the race, Tiesj Benoot prepared himself for the second part of the season. The 24-year-old hopes to be back in shape and to compete for a stage victory in what will be his first Vuelta ever.
A dislocation of the AC joint in his right shoulder, bruised ribs and left wrist put an end to Benoot’s Tour de France - a big seasonal goal for the young Belgian. After a short period of recovery, a high altitude training camp and regained motivation, the winner of the Strade Bianchi feels ready to show his talent once again.
Tiesj Benoot: “After my crash in the Tour de France, I didn’t ride my bike for five days. After these rest days, I started to ride again at home and had regular sessions with my physician and osteopath to loosen up my muscles and joints. As soon a I started to feel better, I left for the training camp in Livigno, where I trained well and prepared myself properly for the upcoming races - with the Vuelta and World Championships as main goals. I do feel my shoulder from time to time, but it doesn’t bother me when I race. It will definitely not slow me down.”
“Last Sunday, I rode the Cyclassics Hamburg, which was my first race since I abandoned the Tour, and my legs felt good. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how well I can perform in a three-week stage race, but it will soon become clear as the second stage already features a difficult finish and the fourth one concludes with a first-category climb. I’ll quickly know where I’m at, but I’m feeling well and believe to be in shape again.”
“Taking a look at the roadbook, I noticed that there are many opportunities for the breakaway -one of the main differences with the Tour the France, I’d say. Though, the escapees in this year’s Tour also were given more space from the peloton, making my withdrawal even more painful. Yet, it’s good to know that the Vuelta always offers several opportunities as well. Another difference with the Tour de France is probably the heat in Spain. I prepared myself well for hot temperatures so that the heat may not be a problem. And , apparently, there’s also less stress in the Vuelta than there is in the Tour. Especially in the first week, a reassuring thought.”
“I’m not targeting any specific stage yet, but there are certainly several stages that suit me. I know that the second and fourth stage offer possibilities, but I’ll be taking it one day at a time. There are several uphill finishes or finishes after a descent in the somewhat more difficult stages, which will suit me. Of course, you can’t predict the race situation, but I’m feeling well and I definitely am looking forward to be racing in Spain!”
I'm well prepared for the upcoming races - with the Vuelta and World Championships as main goals.