“This year Tour of Belgium will be a hard race, from the beginning until the end,” Sport Director Rik Van Slycke said. “The first stage has a finish in Knokke, so there is a strong possibility of a windy day. It’s difficult to control that kind of race because they are going by the sea, which is why the wind will be so strong and there will be this kind of situation. The second day has a finish in Ninove, where they pass through Maldegem, which includes the roads of Tour de Flandre. So this will be a day that is also not so easy with that included in the parcour. The third day is a 15km time trial in Beveren, which is also challenging. The fourth stage is in Lacs De L’eau D’Heure — an up and down parcour — so it will be another difficult day. Then, the last stage, they have to pass Côte de La Redoute three times. There is even an uphill finish. So, to finish the stage race with a day like that, it will be a challenging few days without a doubt.”
“Fortunately we have a good team ready to fight,” Van Slycke continued. “I also have to say that the level of racers who will take the start will be really high this year, for all teams. But we can count on really good riders who are able to be present in the actions every day — in the sprint, or the typical Flanders parcour, but also in the time trial. We have the 2012 Tour of Belgium defending champion in Tony Martin, and the UCI World TT Champion is ready to fight. So, we will try to our best to make a good race and get the best result we can.”
OPQS wants to remind the press that tomorrow, the 21st of May, there will be a press conference of Tony Martin and Tom Boonen, at 4 p.m. in the following location: Holiday Inn Gent Expo Maaltekouter 3, 9051 Sint-Denijs-Westrem (Gent), Belgium.
OPQS kindly asks the Press to reply to this e-mail if they want to attend the press conference, or to contact OPQS Press Officer Alessandro Tegner.
22.05–26.05 Ronde van België (BEL) 2.HC
Tom Boonen (BEL),
Andrew Fenn (GBR),
Nikolas Maes (BEL),
Tony Martin (GER),
Frantisek Rabon (CZE),
Niki Terpstra (NED),
Kristof Vandewalle (BEL),
Martin Velits (SVK).
Sports Directors: Wilfried Peeters (BEL), Tom Steels (BEL) & Rik van Slycke (BEL).
22.05.13 Stage 1 Lochristi – Knokke-Heist 194.2 km
23.05.13 Stage 2 Knokke-Heist – Ninove 181.0 km
24.05.13 Stage 3 Beveren – Beveren 15.0 km (ITT)
25.05.13 Stage 4 Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure – Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure 164.3 km
26.05.13 Stage 5 Banneux – Banneux 175.6 km