Vanendert seeking to return to his top level in the Vuelta a España
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vanendert seeking to return to his top level in the Vuelta a España

by VeloNation Press at 5:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Belgian rider feels like he’s on the road back after withdrawing from Tour de France squad with a parasite

Jelle VanendertHaving been forced to drop out of the Critérium du Dauphiné due to a parasite and missing the Tour de France as a result, former Tour stage winner and King of the Mountains jersey wearer Jelle Vanendert believes his health is returning and will head to the Vuelta a España with a clear ambition: get back to his best, and then see what that brings.

“This Vuelta is very important for my season. I’ll try and set things straight,” he said. “I’m not going to Spain with GC ambitions, but I’m going to pick out some stages in which I want to pursue a good result.

“For me the Vuelta will be successful if I have the feeling of being back at my highest level; the feeling I had in the Classics last year [where he was second in the Amstel Gold Race and fourth in Flèche Wallonne – ed.] or in the 2011 Tour. If I have been able to perform on a high level over three weeks but I haven’t won a stage, I guess I won’t be disappointed. First I have to get a good feeling.”

Instead, another rider on the team will be the designated competitor for the overall classification. Vanendert pledges to back him fully.

“Next to that [his own ambitions – ed.] I’ll also support Bart De Clercq in his battle for a good GC,” he said. “We have a strong team for this Vuelta with which we have many opportunities. Depending on the type of hills in the different stages, we can decide within the team which rider can take his chance. We’ll race offensively and that’s why I expect us to perform strong as a team.”

Vanendert has had a frustrating season until now. He had to drop out of the Vuelta al País Vasco due to a inflammation of his oesophagus, then had his parasite problems in the Critérium du Dauphiné, missing the Tour.

The 28 year old returned in the Tour de Wallonie and has improved steadily. “I reacted good after the Tour de Wallonie and Tour de Pologne and feel better than before,” he explained. “Both races were necessary to set a step forward. My shape is now a whole lot better.

“After the Tour de Pologne I took a few days to recuperate and then I started with a week and a half of endurance training and specific training in the Ardennes.”

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