Voorbeschouwing Ronde van Vlaanderen

Geplaatst op vrijdag 30 maart 2012 om 07:24

Zondag 1 april, het is geen grap, rijd ik de vernieuwde Ronde van Vlaanderen! Voorgaande jaren bestond de finale uit de Muur van Geraardsbergen, de bosberg en de finish in Ninove. Dit jaar is de start en finish in Oudenaarde en zal de finale bestaan uit de Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg en de Hoogberg. Voor meer informatie: Ronde van Vlaanderen.be Hieronder staat mijn voorbeschouwing op de Ronde voor mijn team GreenEDGE!

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In Her Own Words: Loes Gunnewijk on Tour of Flanders

Like the men, our course has changed this year. We used to share a finish with the men in Ninove. This year, we'll start in Oudenaarde. After 127 kilometres, we'll finish in Oudenaarde as well.

Our course includes many of the famous climbs and cobbled sections that the men will race. We start with the Paddestraat after 39 kilometres. The Rekelberg, Berendries and Valkenberg follow. Then, we'll hit the cobblestones of Haaghoek before more climbing -- the Kaperij, Kanarieberg and Kruisberg. In the final part of the race, we'll cover Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg and the Hoogberg.

The Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg cobbled climbs present the focal point of the finale. The Oude Kwaremont is an arduous 2.2 kilometre climb with an average gradient of 4.2%. Although the Paterberg is much shorter, at only 350 metres, it's a steep pitch with an average gradient of 12.5%.

I am the team captain out on the road. We start with an agreed upon tactic before the race, but sometimes we have to adjust during the race. As team captain, I become the Sports Director's eyes in the race. I often make the decision as to when we should attack and when we should wait. I give direction to other girls and explain our adjusted tactics. We only race with radios in the World Cups. We haven't been allowed radios in other races since last year's new rules.

We have many cards to play this Sunday. Any one of us could win this race. I can't give too much away about our tactics but know we are ready to support whoever is in a position to win. It's one for all and all for one for GreenEDGE-AIS.

I don't expect this race to come down to a bunch sprint. If it does, that's when we start to have our hands full. We lack a pure sprinter at the moment with Melissa Hoskins currently focusing on Track Worlds. Against the likes of Marianne Vos (Rabobank), Kirsten Wild (AA Drink-Leontien.nl), Ina Teutenberg (Specialized-lululemon) and Emma Johansson (Hitec Products - Mistral Home), we can only do so much in a sprint. This is why we always try to force an outcome other than a bunch sprint.

We want to win every race we start, and the Tour of Flanders is no exception. The team raced extremely strong at the World Cup in Italy last week. If we race like that again, we have a real chance of winning on Sunday. We know how to make the race hard, and we race as a team. These are our two biggest strengths.

We had a dream start to the season. We were winning every race we entered. We knew this couldn't continue forever, and it has now been a few weeks since our last victory. This team is improving with every race. We were the aggressors at the Trofeo Binda World Cup, but we just missed the podium. It's impossible not to see how strong we are as a team. The team spirit is another one of our big strengths. Everyone wants to work hard and race their bikes. We're confident big results will come again soon.

GreenEDGE-AIS for Tour of Flanders:
Alexis Rhodes
Amanda Spratt
Jessie MacLean
Judith Arndt
Loes Gunnewijk
Tiffany Cromwell


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