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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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That which does not kill us makes us stronger. - Friedrich Nietzsche

With the Ronde van Vlaanderen coming, I thought this was the appropriate quote.

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Teams Preview Dwars Door Vlaanderen

Team Lotto Dstny sent me this:

Lotto Dstny to Dwars door Vlaanderen with confidence

With Dwars door Vlaanderen (UCI 1.UWT), another spring Classic awaits this Wednesday. Lotto Dstny will head to the start in Roeselare with confidence and again wants to leave its mark on the race.

Last week, Frederik Frison impressed by finishing fourth in both Brugge-De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem. The domestique deluxe showed his potential but also his Lotto Dstny teammates got a confidence boost in a rain soaked edition of Gent-Wevelgem past Sunday.

Arnaud De Lie wins stage one at the Étoile de Bessèges earlier this year. Sirotti photo

On the other hand, Arnaud De Lie had to deal with quite some bad luck including three punctures amongst others, making it impossible to leave his mark in Flanders Fields. “It really was a pity”, the youngster looked back, “because I had really strong legs. I was feeling good again after getting a little sick before Milano-Sanremo. Then it’s frustrating you can’t show your good shape but a wounded lion is a dangerous one”, said De Lie with a wink. “Wednesday is another chance”, he said.

Just like the previous races, the weather report looks unstable, which De Lie really likes. “I don’t mind the rain and wind. I’m performing well in this kind of weather and hopefully this is also the case in Dwars door Vlaanderen.”

Apart from Arnaud De Lie, Lotto Dstny brings with Caleb Ewan another fast guy at the start. Also Frederik Frison will be at the start. They will be supported by Jasper De Buyst, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Sébastien Grignard and Cedric Beullens.

“Our team is stronger than only Arnaud De Lie”, concludes Nikolas Maes. “he is a really promising rider but the team has more strong guys. Just look at Frederik, who already showed some nice things and which he can do again this Wednesday. The team is going really well and we are really motivated to again play a role.”

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Here’s the preview from Tadej Pogacar’s UAE Team Emirates:

After an impressive podium at E3 Saxo Classic in Harelbeke, Tadej Pogačar returns to Belgium to take on the biggest of the Flanders Classics: the Ronde Van Vlaanderen (2 April) on Saturday.

Prior to this there will be another test on the cards for the Emirati squad: Dwars Door Vlaanderen (29 March).

The team brings a wealth of classics experience most notably through veterans Matteo Trentin and local favourite Tim Wellens.

Tim Wellens winning stage three of the Ruta del Sol earlier this year.

Pogačar: “ Last week in E3 we had a great race and a good battle between the rivals and I’m looking forward to doing it all again on Sunday.
My first experience in Flanders last year was something I’ll never forget, the energy of the race and the passion for cycling in Belgium is something special. I feel I’m ready and the team is ready so we’ll give the Ronde our best shot.”

Sports Directors Fabio Baldato (Ita) and Marco Marcato (Ita) will guide the team from the car for both races.

Dwars door Vlaanderen – A travers la Flandre [1.UWT] – 29-Mar-2023

Sjoerd Bax (Ned)
Mikkel Bjerg (Den)
Ryan Gibbons (RSA)
Pascal Ackermann (Ger)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
Matteo Trentin (Ita)
Tim Wellens (Bel)

Ronde van Vlaanderen – Tour des Flandres [1.UWT] – 02-Apr-2023

Sjoerd Bax (Ned)
Mikkel Bjerg (Den)
Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
Rui Oliveira (Por)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
Matteo Trentin (Ita)
Tim Wellens (Bel)

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Here's the race preview from Team Bahrain Victorious:

It’s the penultimate race ahead of the big showdown, Tour of Flanders, and Bahrain Victorious will be looking for a result at Dwars door Vlaanderen with Fred Wright and Andrea Pasqualon.

Fred Wright follows Dylan van Baarle at the 2022 Tour of Flanders.

Starting in Roeselare, the peloton will take on 183.7km before the finish in Waregem. The 77th edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen will feature 11 climbs starting with the Volkegemberg and eight cobbled sectors.

After a disappointing final 5km where Mohoric crashed at Gent – Wevelgem, missing out on a top-10 finish, the SD Enrico Poitschke will be hoping for different fortunes this time out: “We have had some misfortune and made some mistakes in the last couple of races. We will be looking to get a good result on Wednesday (29th) and build some momentum and morale in the team ahead of the Ronde.

We know Fred and Andrea can achieve a result in this race, and we will be looking to work together and be in for a chance to win. We’ve seen a very high level in these classics from Van der Poel, Van Aert and Pogacar, but we will race aggressively and put ourselves in the best position to achieve a result.”

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Łukasz Wiśniowski out with a fractured pelvis

Team EF Education-EasyPost posted this sad news:

The Polish powerhouse will miss the rest of classics: Łukasz Wiśniowski will miss the rest of the classics season due to an injury he sustained in his crash in Gent-Wevelgem.

Łukasz Wiśniowski (in white) wins the field sprint for second at the 2018 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Sirotti photo

Further imaging has shown that Łukasz fractured his pelvis when he fell during Sunday’s race. Łukasz is sore, but expects to be back to full health later this season. He will return home to Warsaw, Poland to recover.

“I’m good. I’m of course disappointed that I will not be able to race in the upcoming races,” Łukasz says. “I will miss Flanders and Roubaix, and I would love to help the guys in those races. They were my main goals of the season, but now we have to set new goals, a new schedule and adjust to the new plans. I am looking forward now to going home to have a rest. This is a new challenge to overcome.”

We will miss Łukasz in the rest of the northern races, where his strength and skill in the peloton are invaluable. Team doctor David Hulse says, “We’re optimistic about Łukasz’s recovery. The injury will take time to heal. Physical therapy and rehab are our priorities for him right now. We are grateful to the Belgian hospital for their assistance with specialist imaging.”

Before flying home, Łukasz has a message for his teammates.

“I would like to wish the best of luck to our teammates in the upcoming races,” he says.

Thank you, Lukasz. And thank you for the huge efforts you’ve made for the team this spring. We know you will be back to your best soon. All the best for your recovery.

Jonas Rutsch will start in Łukasz’s place in Dwars door Vlaanderen tomorrow.



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