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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, June 9, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once. - Norman Vincent Peale

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Maxime Monfort prepares for second part of the season in the Sierra Nevada

Monfort's Lotto-Soudal team sent me this update:

After a short period of rest, Maxime Monfort is preparing for the rest of the season during an altitude training camp in the Sierra Nevada, a mountain range in southern Spain. Monfort trained together with Lotto Soudal teammates Tiesj Benoot, Jens Keukeleire and Jelle Wallays. The 36-year-old Belgian specifies why he chooses for a training camp at altitude, the kind of training sessions he does and the goals for the upcoming Tour de Suisse.

Maxime Monfort

Maxime Monfort at the 2017 Tour of Romandie. Sirotti photo

Maxime Monfort: “The training camp is going really well and the conditions are perfect. It is really warm at the foot of the mountain, which is an additional advantage for the next races. Also the atmosphere is excellent here.”

“For me, the first part of the season ended after the Ardennes Classics. Afterwards, I took a bit of rest and this period is the ideal moment to get going again and to lay the foundations for the rest of the season. During this period of the year, the way I train is a little different. The focus is mainly on the longer efforts, contrary to the training sessions for the Ardennes Classics, where the climbs are a bit shorter.”

“During a long altitude training camp it is important to fully adapt to the circumstances. The training rides during the first week are mostly at endurance pace. As of week two, the intensity goes up and during the third week, the specific race efforts are trained. So, the intensity levels during an altitude training camp go crescendo.”

“In fact, we don’t have a lot of spare time on a normal training day. On a rest day, we watch some Netflix and there was also the Giro d’Italia, of course. As a fan of tennis, I also follow Roland Garros. My family also came to visit me for a couple of days and being a family man, that is really welcome during a long training camp.”

“The Tour de Suisse will be my first event after seven weeks of no races. First and foremost, it will be important to find the race rhythm again. I don’t have any general classification ambitions but I do want to battle for a stage victory. So, just like last year, when I finished fourth in stage six. There are no easy days in the Tour de Suisse, which offers the team an opportunity to go for the stage win almost every day. Let us in the first place hope for good legs at the start. If that brings a nice result, that would be even nicer.”

Deceuninck – Quick Step win Hammer Sprint Limburg

Here's the team's race report:

Fabio Jakobsen and Yves Lampaert combined well to score our team’s 33rd victory of the year.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step fired on all cylinders on the second day of the Hammer Limburg, knowing another huge haul of points was needed in order to maintain our place at the top of the general classification following Friday’s commanding win in the Hammer Climb.

Yves Lampaert

Yves Lampaert at the 2019 Paris-Roubaix. Sirotti photo.

Starting and finishing in Sittard, the 99.2km-long race got off to a furious start, a break of eight going clear and contesting the first sprint of the day, which saw two-time Scheldeprijs champion Fabio Jakobsen claim maximum points, thus giving our squad the early lead. A few kilometers later, a four-man group containing Belgian Champion Yves Lampaert bridged across, with the numerical superiority immediately playing into our team’s advantage, who then scored big on the first double-point lap of the day.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step remained aggressive throughout the race, with Lampaert forcing a selection in the leading group with 80 kilometers to go and pushing a huge tempo, which kept the peloton at bay and helped him get more points as the laps ticked down. Some 30 kilometers from home, that move came to an end, but by then our squad was already in firm control of the standings. This didn’t stop Fabio from jumping off the front again and joining another group which went all the way, despite the gap hovering at all times around 20 seconds.

A strong presence in the group, the 22-year-old Dutchman expertly shut down a couple of attacks and further increased our lead in the ranking, before wrapping it up with a powerful sprint on the final lap and earning top position for the Hammer Chase, which Deceuninck – Quick-Step will kick off tomorrow afternoon.

“Today we showed again what a good team we have and how we work together for our goals. The race was hard and full gas from the beginning, but I was in the main group with Lampy and had good legs, and together we contributed to our squad’s total number of points. In the end, I knew the victory was in the bag, but I wanted to sprint to show the name of the team and of our sponsors, underling the collective effort behind this success”, Fabio said after Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 33rd win of the season.

Jakobsen, who raced in front of his home supporters, continued: “We won two battles so far, we cracked on two consecutive days the 1000-point barrier and it’s really nice to lead the general classification, but the competition isn’t over yet and we have one last hard race tomorrow, when we hope to top it off with the overall victory. It won’t be easy, because the margins are slim, but we are motivated and focused.”

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