Tankink with new self-confidence into 2010
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Tankink with new self-confidence into 2010

by Bjorn Haake at 5:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Bram Tankink of Rabobank was not too happy with his past season, which was hampered by crashes and injuries, but has trained well over the winter and looks forward to the next season.

He has mixed feelings about 2009. "Injuries affected half my spring season," he told Wielerflits.nl. "That also prevented me from riding the Tour." He was able to save his year with a solid performance in the Vuelta a España, giving him back some of the confidence he had lost.

Tankink tackled the winter as hard as always. "I know I do everything for my sport, at least what is in my hands. You ask yourself of course, why was it working well at Quick Step [where he rode from 2003 to 2007 - ed.] but not the last couple of years [at Rabobank]."

Tankink did analyze it all the way into every detail. He changed bikes, saddle, shoes, pedals and analyzed his training program. The latter he felt was right. "When you don't ride well, it can be also be a problem in your head," he concluded.

Tankink knows that his posture changed when the bikes changed and it caused him back pain. "I had constant pressure, as I was not sitting well on my bicycle." With another bike change, Tankink hopes that the problem is finally behind him. He is more confident now ahead of the Spring Classics.

His first Rabobank year in 2008 also didn't start too well. "Until Paris-Nice, I had already fallen five times."

He is still happy he made the switch to the Dutch team. "The atmosphere is really great here. I am so glad to ride with Rabobank, except I am unhappy that I haven't been able to show them yet what I expected myself." Tankink cannot see the point about Rabobank being too serious. "Almost no one leaves Rabobank voluntarily. Atmosphere, structure, professionalism - that is all good. With Harold Knebel last year a very good atmosphere has entered the team."

Tankink will do a spring with a mix of Classics and stage races. After the warmup in Mallorca and the Volta al Algarve, he will ride the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Paris-Nice, Milano-Sanremo, E3-Prijs, Gent-Wevelgem Tour of the Basque Country."

He was scheduled to ride the Ronde van Vlaanderen. "But I asked to do another stage race instead. My goal is to do well in the Ardennes Classics, then you don't need to ride Vlaanderen." He thinks that no stage race after Paris-Nice is actually a bad idea ahead of the races in Wallonia. "Two years ago, in the Amstel Gold Race and in Liègè, I had the feeling I was doing better than in the Ronde."

Tankink has targeted the Brabantse Pijl, "super nice race," and the E3-prijs as his main goals. He also wants to make the Tour team this time. "As a Dutchman, it is an important goal since the Tour starts in our country."


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