Ben Hermans ready to learn from the Schlecks on new team
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Ben Hermans ready to learn from the Schlecks on new team

by Xylon van Eyck at 7:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Belgian says he is very satisfied with his results this season

Ben HermansDespite only one victory this season, Ben Hermans continued his steady progression as a professional cyclist in the top level of the sport. The Team RadioShack rider won the Trofeo Inca, outfoxing the peloton and breakaway companions in the early season race.

He also showed great potential during the spring when finishing an impressive eighth in Amstel Gold Race, eighteenth in Flèche Wallonne and twenty-second in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

“I'm very happy with how the season went,” he told VeloNation. “For me, I had some good results. I won Trofeo Inca this year, I was second in the national championship time trial, finished in the top ten of a Pro Tour stage race [ninth in Eneco Tour], did a good overall in the Tour Region Wallonne [third] and Giro di Sardegna [sixth].

“But I'm most satisfied with my eighth place in the Amstel Gold Race. I made it in the first group to the finish in this really hard Classic, and that was way better than I ever thought I’d finish. During this season I was there from the beginning at the Tour Down Under where I had really good form to the end of the season, riding all the races on a good level.”

Hermans told VeloNation the year was about improving his time trial ability and working on increasing his climbing skills. He also admitted he feels a little disappointed at not winning another race and that luck was perhaps not on his side when converting a top ten into a victory. One of these missed opportunities was in the season opening Tour Down Under.

“As a team we made a mistake in the Tour Down Under. I was feeling really strong compared to the other riders at that moment. As a team we decided to ride for Robbie Mcewen, because he had the biggest chance to win the overall. So we tried to keep the peloton together and even in the stage on Willunga Hill where I could distance the peloton, we never tried to play my cards. I think this was a big opportunity to win a Pro Tour race,” the Belgian said.

Hermans agreed to move from Team RadioShack to Leopard Trek next season before the news broke that the two teams would be joining. He says he has a two year contract with the new team that will be lead by Johan Bruyneel and foresees more of a domestique role. He is also looking forward to racing alongside the Schleck brothers.

“With so many leaders in our team, I think I have to do more work for them next year and gain some experience. I hope to get stronger in the next two years, learn from riders like Andy and Frank Schleck and grow, stress free.”

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