How do our riders dress for a race? What do they eat and what do they take with them during the race? You can discover all these from our newest blog series.
For De Ronde I decided to go with my skin suit, because I feel very comfortable in one and has many advantages, two of which being that it's suitable to any kind of weather and helps when it comes to aerodynamics. In a race as Flanders – a 256 km-long monster with so many hurdles – it's very important to drink all the time and keep yourself hydrated, so that you avoid the cramps which can occur in the final hour. Also, and this is no secret, you mustn't forget to eat. During the race, I have the Etixx energy bars with chocolate flavor – which are my favourite – as well as the rice cakes prepared by our soigneurs.
The course of the Tour of Flanders is more or less the same of the past years, but things will be different this season because it's the 100th edition, and everyone will want to leave their mark on the race. Fortunately, the weather will be good, but this doesn't mean the race will be less difficult, as we can expect a fast pace and many attacks even before hitting the key points of the course, giving that some riders will try to anticipate the big moves.
The big battle won't come only on the hills, but also before tackling them, because everyone will look to get into the best position. On Koppenberg, for example, if you're not in the top 20 and a rider in front of you stops or crashes, then it's game over, it's almost impossible to come back. We know the pressure is there and that people expect a lot of Etixx – Quick-Step, but we are calm ahead of the start and await the race with confidence and motivation. We have a plan and we'll stick to it, but we are also prepared to change some things here and there depending on what will happen in the thick of the action.
Photo credit: ©BrakeThrough Media