Team News: Trek Segafredo at Flanders

The men and women riders in Trek-Segafredo speak to the gathered press at a press conference ahead of the Tour of Flanders.

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Team News: Trek Segafredo at Flanders

The men and women riders in Trek-Segafredo speak to the gathered press at a press conference ahead of the Tour of Flanders.

Ellen van Dijk: On her victory in Dwars door Vlaanderen: Ellen says “We wanted to race aggressively as a team. We planned to do an attack on the Côte de Trieu with Elisa. She was really strong there; the bunch fell apart and we were up there together. That was really the key to win the race, because if you’re together you can play the game and if you’re alone, you always have to fight against the blocks with more riders.”

Pic: Getty Images

On the women’s team’s tactics for Flanders:

Ellen van Dijk: “We kind of hope for a similar scenario on Sunday: a smaller group in the front with not too many riders there and we definitely want to race it aggressively too.

Elisa Longo Borghini: “Agreed, it would be better to have a small breakaway. It’s always easier to control and it’s nicer to play the game, so yeah, a breakaway would be indeed the best option for us. We went out today to do a small recon and I think that the Kanarieberg will definitely be a key point for the race on Sunday, because the final of the race is a little bit different now as compared to previous years.

Ellen van Dijk: “Exactly. And we also have the Taaienberg closer to the final now, so that will make absolutely make a difference in how the race unfolds.”
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Men’s Team & Race

On how the men’s team performed in Gent-Wevelgem:

Jasper Stuyven: “Gent-Wevelgem was for me and for the team as a whole a good way to kick back after our, let’s say … poor performances before. Of course, it gives a good confidence boost for the next two big races that are coming (Flanders and Paris-Roubaix).”

John Degenkolb: “I really want to stress this again: my result in Gent-Wevelgem (where he finished 2nd) would not have been possible without this group of riders. We raced together as a team and went there with the plan to make the race hard. We took the initiative and made the race split, we were up there in every break, in every split and that was so great to see. Everyone did his part, and in the end, I was only the one who did the sprint and brought home the result. But it’s definitely a team result, a result that we needed so badly after a few races without any results for us and it lifted up our spirits a lot.”

On the ambitions for Tour of Flanders:

Jasper Stuyven: “For myself I think I am more in the underdog position at the moment. I didn’t have the same feeling as last year in the previous races, so that’s not ideal but I think I am strong enough to be up there.”

“With the team we will have at the start, we can definitely get what we are aiming for and how we raced last Sunday, that’s the way we have to go out there again. We showed in Gent-Wevelgem that we were there in the final and John could stay easy in the group and Mads (Pedersen) and I attacked, and I think we never let Deceuninck-Quick-Step take full control. I think this is what we can also do in other races and it’s what we had in mind coming to these races, to begin with.”

John Degenkolb (above): “The plan for the upcoming races is indeed to tackle them in a similar way (as in Gent-Wevelgem): race aggressively, race together, use our strength. We have done our homework, put in a lot of dedication this Winter and now we just need to put it out on the road.”

Mads Pedersen: “It’s nice and exciting to be at the start line again after finishing 2nd last year. We have to show something now. As John just said, we did a good race last Sunday and we have to show it again next Sunday. The confidence could be higher, but I truly still believe we can do something good.”

John Degenkolb: “The ideal scenario would be that we are still at least two guys up there on the final ascent of the Kwaremont because then you still have multiple cards to play. If you race in a smart way, you can support each other in a good way to save energy, but that being said I think we will definitely have to sacrifice some guys to be up there at the key moments. Flanders is all about positioning and if in those key moments you don’t have anyone to make the positioning for you, it will cost you a lot of energy.”

“At a certain point every team, us included, will have to make choices and decide in which direction to go and who will be the guy who spends the least energy to have something left for the last part of the race. Who that guy will be for us, has not been decided yet and it is not my call to make. I definitely want to help the team to perform as well as possible. In the end, you never know what can happen in this race. Look at last year, nobody had expected Mads to be up there, but he finishes on the podium. That’s what makes Flanders so special, really anything can happen.”

On his preparations for this Classics campaign:

Jasper Stuyven: “What I did different as compared to last year was that I got sick (laughs). That’s obviously not the ideal preparation but we will see after the Classics if it turned out well in the end. It’s not that I wanted to peak to one particular race. The Classics is all about this period of 3 weeks where you want to be as good as possible and where you are hoping for a little bit of luck and for that super day on a race day instead of on one of the rest days in between.”

The final line-ups for the Tour of Flanders:

Trek-Segafredo Women: Ellen van Dijk (NED), Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (FRA), Lotta Lepistö (FIN), Ruth Winder (USA), Trixi Worrack (GER)

Trek-Segafredo Men: Jasper Stuyven (BEL), John Degenkolb (GER), Mads Pedersen (DEN), Koen de Kort (NED), Alex Kirsch (LUX), Kiel Reijnen (USA), Edward Theuns (BEL)



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