Stijn Devolder riding stress-free as the Classics approach
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Stijn Devolder riding stress-free as the Classics approach

by Kyle Moore at 6:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tirreno-Adriatico
Two-time Flanders winner still trying to get on track with Vacansoleil-DCM

Stijn DevolderAs Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM) works his way through an arduous Tirreno-Adriatico, he says he continues to ride in a positive state of mind as he builds up to his second Classics season with his Dutch team.

The Belgian, twice a winner of the Tour of Flanders with Quick Step, is trying to recapture the form that propelled him to so much spring success, and with the recent victories and good form of his team, he would seem to have the support to do it. Perhaps as a result of that, he’s feeling relaxed.

“I am feeling no stress,” Devolder told Het Nieuwsblad. “The sun is shining, and everything has made me happy at Tirreno-Adriatico. I feel good. I feel that my condition is already better than last year. In the opening weekend, I did not contest them at the front. I did my thing – it just wasn’t in the spotlight.”

Indeed after a 54th place in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and a 105th in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, Devolder would seem to still have work to do. Though he says he is simply riding the Italian stage race as many do – to prepare for the big one-day races to come – he would take a result if it presented itself.

“There is that last bit to hone with a view to the spring,” he explained. “I can [try to take a result] but it doesn’t do much. If an opportunity arises, I would like to try and take it. That doesn’t have to be a stage, it could be the final time trial. Anyway, I am working here especially with the Classics in sight, so a result is not important.”

As he tries to recapture the magic he once had in the Ronde, Devolder will be dealing with the well-publicized course changes leading to the new finish town of Oudenarde. Gone is the Muur van Geraardsbergen, the climb that he used to his advantage in both of his Flanders wins.

“The course will not be entirely new to me,” he added. “Most of the pieces I’ve known since I often train on them. Although it will be something special this year with the new course. I wonder what it will bring.”

Next up for Devolder after Tirreno-Adriatico is likely to be a start in Milan-Sanremo on March 17, followed by Dwars door Vlaanderen on March 21.


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