Jurgen Van den Broeck aiming to capitalise on solid form in Tour of Beijing
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jurgen Van den Broeck aiming to capitalise on solid form in Tour of Beijing

by VeloNation Press at 5:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Belgian rider will lead Omega Pharma Lotto in new WorldTour event

Jurgen Van den BroeckHaving finished eighth overall in the recent Vuelta a España, Jurgen Van den Broeck is aiming to use his solid form plus relative freshness to ride strongly in the Tour of Beijing. The 28 year old Belgian rider has been confirmed as the Omega Pharma Lotto team leader for the event and wants to perform strongly there to help end his season well.

It’s been an at-times tough year for the big Belgian GC hope, given that he showed good form in winning a stage in the Critérium du Dauphiné but then crashed out of the Tour de France. That was his big season goal and so he had to recover from his fractured shoulder and broken ribs to recover his fitness and his motivation.

“I hope my form will be good for this race. After my crash during the Tour de France, I worked hard for the Vuelta,” he said. “It was good for me to do the Vuelta after my crash. Normally I'm in good form for my last races of the season.”

Van den Broeck will likely ride the Tour of Lombardy and so competing in Beijing will be the perfect way to build form for that. However he regards the trip as a means to an end in itself, both in terms of riding a big new race and also in seeking a different part of the world.

“It's the first time I will race in China. It's good for cycling that we can race in China – Asia is a big continent and will open many possibilities for the future of the sport,” he said, recognising that many sponsors have an interest in the Asian market and also that potential backers are based there.

A strong climber, Van den Broeck will be disadvantaged somewhat by the lack of big mountains in the race. He knows that a strong time trial is important for him to perform well in the general classification, and so he’ll dig deep in the opening 11.3 kilometre Bird’s Nest to Water Cube race against the clock.

One advantage is that it will be done on regular road bikes, and so this may suit him better than the time trial specialists who are more used to the extreme positions on TT machines.

He will be backed by Bart de Clerq, who took a superb stage win in the 2011 Giro d’Italia, as well Vicente Reynés, second on a stage of the recent Vuelta, 2010 junior Paris-Roubaix runner-up Jens Debusschere, the sprinter Kenny Dehaes plus Maarten Neyens.

There will also be two TT specialists who could well be ahead of Van den Broeck after the opening stage and who will likely also be protected. They are the Australian Adam Hansen plus the Belgian Olivier Kaisen.

“I finished the Tour of Spain in good form, then I did two races to prepare for the world championship,” said the latter. “I hope my good form will stay until the Tour of Beijing to do a good race there. I hope it will be a nice race with a lot of spectators on the side of the road. Maybe it will be good to develop cycling in China.”

Directeur sportif Michiel Elijzen made it clear that the team would aim for success with several riders. “I hope we will do well in the general classification with Jurgen Van den Broeck,” he said, laying down who was the team’s top bet for success.

“And I hope we will have the chance of winning a stage with one of our riders. I think we have an all-round team that is capable of competing in every stage for the win.”

The new race will begin on Wednesday October 5th with that time trial. The subsequent stages will finish at Men Tou Gou, Yong Ning Town, Shunyi Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre and Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium.

Following an agreement to allow the use of race radios during the 2012 season, all eighteen WorldTour teams have agreed to take part in the event.


Tour of Beijing (WorldTour):

Stage one, Wednesday 5th October: Individual Time Trial, Bird’s Nest – Water Cube via Olympic Park circuit, 11.3km
Stage two, Thursday 6th October: Bird’s Nest to Men Tou Gou via North Gate of Summer Palace, 137km
Stage three, Friday 7th October: Men Tou Gou to Yong Ning Town via Thirteen Ming Tombs Reservoir, 162km
Stage four, Saturday 8th October: Yan Qing Gui Chuan Square to Shunyi Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre via Mutianyu Great Wall, 189.5km
Stage five, Sunday 9th October: Tian An Men Square to Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, 118km


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