Van den Broeck heads back to Volta a Catalunya gunning to build on third place of 2012
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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Van den Broeck heads back to Volta a Catalunya gunning to build on third place of 2012

by VeloNation Press at 3:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Volta a Catalunya
 
Belgian rider looking for a strong showing after spell of altitude training

Jurgen Van den BroeckThird overall last year, one minute 32 seconds behind the winner Michael Albasini (Orica GreenEdge) and just two seconds adrift of runner-up Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi), Jurgen Van den Broeck is keeping his fingers crossed for a strong showing in the Volta a Catalunya, which starts on Monday.

The Belgian rider, who went on to finish fourth in the Tour de France after the Catalan race, will be one of several big names taking part. Also there will be the winners between 2009 and 2011, namely Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre Merida), the 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins (Sky), last year’s Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal plus the rider who finished just behind Van de Broeck (but level on time) last year, Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp).

“I am looking forward to the Tour of Catalunya because I performed well here last year,” said Van den Broeck, thinking ahead to the race. “Apart from that stage races like this are important to collect WorldTour points. But I think I am ready for it.”

He’s pleased with his buildup for the race. “In the beginning of March I went two weeks to Tenerife to train. If you have to compete against riders that are stronger and live in countries where the weather is better, it is necessary that you escape the Belgian climate to become stronger yourself. The past few years that training camp in Tenerife pleased me a lot.”

Thus far his programme has seen him race in the Tour de San Luis (fifth overall), in three stages of the Challenge Mallorca races and then in the Vuelta a Andalucia, where he was fourth, sixth, eight and sixth on stages and finished a fine second overall.

That’s encouraging, and he’ll hope to step up a level again as a result of his altitude work.

“The season’s start was pretty okay. Now Catalunya, Pais Vasco and Romandy are coming up, three beautiful stage races. Then I take a break to build up further afterwards to the Tour,” he said.

“The stages look difficult and it is waiting to see what the weather conditions will be like. Last year those had a lot of influence on the development of the race. That third place in 2012 doesn’t guarantee me new success but it gives confidence, although this year there are a lot of strong riders at the start.”

The WorldTour race begins on Monday with a 159.3 kilometre stage starting and finishing in Calella.

Van den Broeck will be joined by Lotto Belisol team-mates Brian Bulgaç, Francis De Greef, Adam Hansen, Olivier Kaisen, Jurgen Van de Walle, Joost Van Leijen and Tim Wellens

Volta a Catalunya (WorldTour):

Stage 1, Monday, March 18: Calella – Calella (159.3 km)
Stage 2, Tuesday, March 19: Girona – Banyoles (160.7 km)
Stage 3, Wednesday, March 20: Vidreres – Vallter 2000-Setcases (180.1 km)
Stage 4, Thursday, March 21: Llanars-Vall de Camprodon – Port Ainé-Rialp (217.7 km)
Stage 5, Friday, March 22: Rialp – Lleida (156.5 km)
Stage 6, Saturday, March 23: Almacelles – Valls (178.7 km)
Stage 7, Sunday, March 24: El Vendrell – Barcelona (Montjuïc) (122.2 km)

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