Defending Kuurne champion Traksel hoping for bad weather again
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Defending Kuurne champion Traksel hoping for bad weather again

by Samuel Morrison at 5:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
Dutchman Bobbie Traksel back for more one-day classic wins cyclist Bobbie Traksel hopes to see rain clouds at the start of the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne race today in Belgium.

"The worse the weather, the stronger I become," Traksel told Het Nieuwsblad the before this year's race.

"If it's not too hot, then I have a leg up. The Tour of Qatar, for example, that is hell for me. Long live the rain and the cold. They increase my chances.

"When s**t weather, everyone grabs an extra jacket. Me? I take one off..."

The 29-year-old from team Landbouwkrediet was only one of 26 riders to finish last year's race. He sprinted from a group of three and roared in ahead of Dutchman Rick Flens (Rabobank) and Bri Ian Stannard (Sky).

Traksel has similar goals this year.

"Kuurne of course, but also Dwars door Vlaanderen and Nokere-Koerse. I think it's fantastic that in such a tiny village that a huge group of people cheer on the riders. I also need to be realistic; I know what I can and especially, what I cannot do."

"In the spring, I am very strong. We also have a good team: Frédéric Amorison and Dirk Bellemakers are going well, and we have a few other pleasant surprises. Of course, we are not a team like Quick Step, but from the shadows we can score, that I'm sure. I have also trained hard in November in the Flemish Ardennes. I wanted a good base for the spring. I rode the climbs and cobblestone sectors."

Traksel raced for home team, Vacansoleil last year and was one of the riders who signed for Australia's Pegasus Sport. When the team failed to receive a licence in January, he jumped to join Gérard Bulens' Belgian team, Landbouwkrediet.

"It was a bad move financially, I race with a minimum contract," he added, "but I can at least start in my races." He'll know that taking a big win this spring is a very good way to ensure he gets a better deal for the future.


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