Team News: Trek-Segafredo Tour of Flanders Press Conference

On the Good Friday before Tour of Flanders on Sunday, Jasper Stuyven and John Degenkolb met with the media at the  Trek-Segafredo press conference

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Team News: Trek-Segafredo Tour of Flanders Press Conference

Jasper Stuyven: “I managed to finish in the top 10 in every classic until now, I think that shows I am close to that breakthrough. I don’t think it’s a coincidence I was up there every time and also making the race. On the other hand, I don’t see this as an extra pressure that I need to get this breakthrough result now. Things are going very well and I will keep fighting to grab that win for sure.”

“I think this year the difference between getting a top 10 spot and winning is not really big because the gap between me and the winner has never been big. Also, there has never been two or three guys making a huge gap on the chasing group. So, I guess it’s a little bit of luck, maybe a little bit better legs to be a little bit fresher in the final. It’s about the little details that need to come together at the right moment.”

“In my opinion there’s not a rider that really stands out until now. There are a few guys that are obviously in good shape, but I like to think I am with them at the same level.”

John Degenkolb: “I agree with Jasper, nobody showed a really outstanding or impressive effort until now, but I think, in general, that the Tour of Flanders will also be decided by the strength of the team. There are some teams that are clearly very strong, but if you look at the last races you could tell that our team is pretty good as well. In Dwars door Vlaanderen we managed to be there with three guys in an important part of the race and I am very confident we can have a similar situation on Sunday and then play the cards the way we want it.”

“I think that with Jasper we have someone who can finish it off, he will be our leader, that’s clear. He was super strong in all the races until now. Of course, I will try to save as much energy as possible to come as far as possible, to be there until the end. I will try to anticipate as much as I can, so that I can be there to help the team.”

“Anyway, my focus lies more on next week, on Paris-Roubaix. I also believe that missing out on Milano-Sanremo can make the difference for Flanders, to be on that higher level needed for this race.”

“I was never the rider to say that I always want to be the only leader and after abandoning Paris-Nice and not competing at Milano-Sanremo, the situation changed completely. I believe I can really be there next week in Roubaix and I also want to do Amstel afterwards, so the break I had also makes me mentally more fresh than last year for the two weeks to come.”

“For me, it’s important to have a good race on Sunday, very intensive and very long, to be up there and then I will be ready for Paris-Roubaix.”
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Jasper Stuyven: “Like John said, on Wednesday, it was really good to see we were up there with three riders. If you see that, I don’t think we have to be scared of other teams. It’s up to us to ride and race in a smart way.

John Degenkolb: “I agree. Also, we didn’t do a perfect race on Wednesday. At one point we had to come back from very far and we were not in an ideal situation but it was quite impressive that all three of us managed to be still there after Taaienberg, because we were already struggling going to Korte Keer and Steenbeekdries. So, we put a lot of energy to that, but still we were there. If we tackle the Ronde in a smarter way, to keep a better position, I am super confident that we will be there when the race starts and if we could be with three, that would be really good.
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Jasper Stuyven: “I was not impressed by Mads’ (Pedersen) performance on Wednesday, because I knew he had this level, I knew he could do this. Mads finished Tirreno-Adriatico with a very good result in the TT and I think he was the first to be disappointed that he could not show his shape in E3 and Gent-Wevelgem. So, it was good to see him up there on Wednesday and he will for sure try to get as far as possible on Sunday as well. He showed that he is also a good card to play right before the deep final or in the final when it starts early. He is a strong guy and on Wednesday he showed what he is capable of.”

“To be honest I was surprised by John’s strong performance in the past races. To come back this strong after being sick and not racing for some time, shows that he is really growing. So, on Sunday, I am pretty sure he will be there to ride the final. Like we said, we have multiple cards to play, so for sure John will be there to give a hand if necessary.”

“I have no idea on where and how the race will really start and I tend not to think about it, because if you focus too much on one point and it doesn’t happen there, maybe it’s harder mentally to know what will happen next. Also, the other way around, if the race explodes earlier than you expect, you will lose some mental energy as well. I think Flanders is a race where you have to be concentrated from the start. Last year showed that from the Muur, there’s more action going on, so before going into it, you have to be more in the front and pay attention to all the climbs and cobbled sections.”

John Degenkolb: “Last year, everybody was surprised that it started already at the Muur. This year, I think everybody will be super concentrated on the Muur, but then it happens maybe before or later, so we will see. I mean, it’s cycling, everything can happen, especially in these races.”





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