Tolhoek tenth in opening stage Ruta del Sol
Antwan Tolhoek has finished tenth in the first stage of the Ruta del Sol. The 15...
Wout van Aert will defend his title in Milan-San Remo on Saturday. A few days later, Team Jumbo-Visma will be at the start of the Belgian one-day race Bruges-De Panne.
The race route is 299 kilometres long and ends, just like last year, via the climbs of the Cipressa and the Poggio with a dive to the finish on the Via Roma.
For Team Jumbo-Visma and Wout van Aert, winning is the only goal. Sports director Arthur van Dongen: "With Wout we have last year's winner in our ranks and a rider who is in excellent shape. The goal is of course to go for the win again. He is ready for the role of co-favourite and he has all the qualities to win the race in different ways. For this long race it is important to start as fresh as possible in the final."
"Milan-San Remo is a special race that suits me well"
Van Aert also sees plenty of opportunities where he can compete for the win. After two stage victories in Tirreno-Adriatico, he is looking forward to next weekend in good spirits. "Milan-San Remo is a special race. The length of the course means you can't just escape early on. Some riders might not like it much that normally little happens. I like the fact that the race explodes in fifteen minutes. I like this way of racing. I have shown in the Strade and the Tirreno that I can compete in the final climbs and that I have a strong final sprint."
Of course, Mathieu van der Poel and Julian Alaphilippe, among others, will again be formidable opponents. "I think as a team we have to take our responsibility, but it's clear I'm not the only favourite. We are not planning to ride alone in front all day. That's why I'm curious to see how other teams will approach the race."
A few days later Olav Kooij, David Dekker, Nathan Van Hooydonck, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Jos van Emden, Christoph Pfingsten and Maarten Wynants will start in Brugge-De Panne. The race of just under 204 kilometres ends with a 45-kilometre circuit that will be done three times. Like every year, there's a good chance the wind will also play a role in this edition. The peloton will ride through De Moeren, where the wind often blows hard.
With, among others, the youngsters Kooij and Dekker, the yellow-black formation has two strong sprinters.
Wout van Aert
Jos van Emden
Nathan Van Hooydonck
Jos van Emden