Nico Eeckhout passing on his experience to his young team
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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Nico Eeckhout passing on his experience to his young team

by Ben Atkins at 9:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Qatar
 
40-year-old Belgian still has the legs to make the break

nico eeckhoutAt 40 years of age, Nico Eeckhout is by far the eldest member of the An Post-Sean Kelly Team and so naturally he acts as a sort of role model to the rest of the riders. After spending the day in the break on the second stage of the Tour of Qatar though, he showed that he still has some speed in his legs and can still race for himself, but his priority in the development team is to lend the younger riders the benefit of his experience.

"I see my role as the road captain,” he told Sporza after the stage, “I teach the young people how to ride in the wind and rain better.”

Although the attack that Eeckhout was a member of was ultimately unsuccessful, on the flat, straight desert roads it was always doomed to fail anyway. For the Belgian though, as with many of the other riders in the race, the Tour of Qatar is more about finding the right condition for when he gets back to Europe.

“My form is pretty good,” he said, “but not quite as it should be. Qatar's only my first race this season, the level is seriously high.”

Although he is 40 years old, Eeckhout is not the oldest member of the pro peloton but he knows that his time at this level, especially with the aftereffects of an injury from last season making themselves felt.

"2011 is my last season anyway,” he explained. “I'm aiming at the Flemish races, but I am naturally not alone in that. Last year I crashed badly in the GP Cerami, I broke two vertebrae and I’m still in a bit of pain.”

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