Jürgen Roelandts and Jurgen Van Den Broeck ready to go in 2013
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Jürgen Roelandts and Jurgen Van Den Broeck ready to go in 2013

by Ben Atkins at 9:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Spring Classics, Injury
 
Lotto-Belisol teammates aiming for different targets, but with similar focus

jurgen van den broeck Lotto-Belisol stars Jürgen Roelandts and Jurgen Van Den Broeck are both looking forward to getting the 2013 season started, as they attend the team’s first real training camp of the winter in Mojacar, southern Spain. The two riders will be aiming at very different targets in the season, with the former targeting the Classics and the latter the Tour de France, but both have unfinished business from 2012; again, for different reasons.

“A training camp is important for different reasons, explained Roelandts. “First of all there is the climate, which differs day and night with the weather in Belgium. Apart from that we train here in group, which is always very motivating.

“The trainings are balanced perfectly, in function of the start of the season. And you are living on a perfect cycling rhythm. Every year I look forward to the training camp in December. I find this one the most fun, because everyone is here,  you get to see everyone again after a pretty long time. I will ride the Tour Down Under, so I won’t go to the training camp in January.”

Roelandts appearance in the Santos Tour Down Under this January ended his 2012 spring campaign, as he crashed in the opening stage. A fractured cervical vertebra meant that he was unable to race until the Tour of Belgium in May; a strong late-season saw him win the Circuit Franco-Belge in late September, but he crashed again in Binche-Tournai-Binche a few days later and ended the season with a broken collarbone.

“My fractured vertebra and broken collarbone are in the past,” said the former Belgian champion. “2013 can begin.

“Of course the Flemish classics will be my first goal,” he explained. “I call it my playground, and I had to miss it past season, which really hurt. Lars Bak was the second of our leaders who was injured, so I guess we will be stronger at the start in 2013.”

Lotto-Belisol has seen very little activity in the transfer market this winter, with only Iranian Mahdi Sohrabi and a late-departing Gianni Meersman leaving the team, and Dirk Bellemakers a last minute revival. This continuity in the Belgian squad should serve the Belgian team well, thinks Van Den Broeck.

“We are here for the second year in a row; this location is perfect, there isn’t a lot of traffic on our training route, which is important when you are here with such a big group,” he said. “The atmosphere is relaxed, which differs from during the season and this is the ideal opportunity to enlarge the team spirit. There hasn’t changed much to the team, but everyone is again very motivated and stronger than a year ago. And the most important: we already know each other very well.”
 
Van Den Broeck’s 2012 season was his best to date, as he matched the fourth place in the Tour de France that he had taken in 2010 [after the disqualification of Alberto Contador - ed]. While he will be aiming for success everywhere - largely to prevent Lotto-Belisol facing WorldTour uncertainty at the end of next season as it has this - Belgium expects, and he will once again be setting his sights on the Tour podium.

“The focus will indeed be on the Tour, but every race is important. Each time I’ll start, I will be motivated to set a result as good as possible. You can win points everywhere.

“Every year people ask me if it is possible to do better than a fourth place in the Tour and every edition I try to do it as good as possible. But if I will succeed, is difficult to say at this point.”

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