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In our daily NewsWire, we bring you a collection of the intriguing stories from newspapers, journals and elsewhere around the world of competitive cycling. Pour your coffee, mute your phone and read on.
Vanendert: ‘learning to run the finales to win’ — La Dernière Heure
Jelle Vanendert announced his intentions to be in the front group at Brabantse Pijl before the start, then did exactly has he hoped and secured seventh place for himself on the day. Now the young Lotto-Belisol Belgian is looking to take the form into the Ardennes classics.
“(Being in the front group was) good for morale, it confirms my idea that I am in good condition and ready for what happens,” Vanendert said.
Vanendert hopes to pick up the slack left by a lackluster classics season for Lotto-Belisol, which saw top rider Philippe Gilbert depart in the offseason for BMC Racing and its sprinter André Greipel falter on the cobbles.
“We no longer have a clear leader,” said Vanendert. “Before, we were there to win. Now, we talk about a top-five or podium, although, of course, you always want to win. I share responsibilities with Gianni (Meersman) and Jurgen (Van den Broeck). The important thing is that we race as one block, we can succeed together. But against guys like Valverde, Rodriguez, or Sagan, it’s very hard.”
Tour of Turkey still too early for Nuyens — Gazet Van Antwerpen
Nick Nuyens will not celebrate his comeback from a fractured hip at the upcoming Presidential Tour of Turkey. “That race is still too early,” the Saxo Bank rider said.
After winning the Tour of Flanders last year, Nuyens lost his entire classics season to a crash in the prologue at Paris-Nice in March.
“The quality of my training rides, however, improves rapidly and I hope to start in the Four Days of Dunkirk,” he added.
Leaderless Rabobank heads into Ardennes with six protected riders — De Telegraaf
Rabobank heads into the second half of the classics season without a strong leader. Instead, it has a crop of potential winners, and will seek to protect them all. Robert Gesink, Bauke Mollema, Steven Kruijswick, Matti Breschel, Lars Boom and Paul Martens will all have protected status.
“In width, we have a very strong team. That is a strength we need to exploit,” said Rabobank sport director Nico Verhoeven.
Karsten Kroon: ‘Amstel is very important to me’ — NUsport
Dutch magazine NUSport caught up with Karsten Kroon at a training camp in Mallorca, where he was busy preparing specifically for the upcoming Amstel Gold Race. Kroon’s best result was a second place in 2009, behind Sergei Ivanov, but he believes he can improve on that this year.
“This race is very important to me,” Kroon said. “If everything goes well, it might just be time.”