Vanendert vying to repeat podium finish in Amstel Gold Race
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Vanendert vying to repeat podium finish in Amstel Gold Race

by VeloNation Press at 3:07 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Amstel Gold Race
 
2012 runner up lacks recent racing, but says training sensations are good

Jelle VanendertSecond last year to Enrico Gasparotto in the Amstel Gold Race, edging out Peter Sagan for the runner-up slot, Jelle Vanendert is gunning for another big result in Sunday’s Classic. However the Lotto Belisol rider admits that he’s not quite sure how he is going, due to a throat infection and a related lack of recent competition.

“Because I missed the Tour of the Basque Country, I have not raced since Tirreno,” he told Sporza. “I had two days where I couldn’t train because of inflammation, but with the right medication that passed quickly.”

Despite that, he has hopes that things will work out. “Training is going well. I’m feeling confident. I hope to be able to play a leading role, but I lack an indication of my form.

“This is an important week. I want to get everything out of it.”

Vanendert finished sixth in Flèche Wallonne two years ago, then went on to win a stage of the Tour de France and to lead the King of the Mountains competition for several stages.

Last year he picked up that second place finish in the Amstel Gold Race, was fourth in Flèche Wallonne, seventh in the Brabantse Pijl and tenth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Vanendert states that he has always been able to perform well in the Classics, and hopes to do so again. He will need team backing in the Amstel Gold Race and is encouraged by what he has seen from the sidelines this week.

“In the Brabantse Pijl I've seen the team where the level is good enough. They lack only someone like me who can race the final. I will try to live up to their expectations.”

However he does have a concern, namely the decision of the race organisers to move the finish line nearly two kilometres after the summit of the Cauberg. The modification will see the race finish in the same location as last year’s world championships and the flat finale could enable a regrouping of sorts after the top of the climb.

“The new route, with a flat section after the finish, is not in my favour. But it remains a tricky course. A course that is for me.”

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