News: Tim Wellens Focus on Classics

Lotto Soudal’s Tim Wellens says there are many goals in 2021 including the classics, the Tour de France and a home World Championships in the Flanders region of Belgium

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News: Tim Wellens Focus on Classics


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Lotto Soudal’s Tim Wellens spoke to the press from Spain in an online media day and started by confirming that he wasn’t interested in the Olympic Games despite the very hilly course where his teammate, Britain’s Matt Holmes, did so well in 2019.

Tim says of the 2020 season, “It has been a difficult year. But 2020 was special for everyone. I took two victories in the Vuelta and that way I could go into the winter with a good feeling. Mentally, that was very important. But if I had not achieved results in a normal season up to and including the Tour of Spain, it would have been a bad year. Now it is difficult to evaluate that. You can’t compare. ”

Talking about his winter, Tim explained, “My rest period was identical to that of previous years. I stayed off the bike for eight or nine days. Other riders take more rest, but for me that is enough. I entered the rest period in good condition, so I was back up to normal faster than normal when I resumed training, but otherwise I have not changed much. ”

Looking ahead to his 2021 season, Tim says “This year I will probably start my season in France, with the GP La Marseillaise and the Ster van Bessèges. Then follows either the Ruta del Sol or Algarve. The Omloop will be my first key moment. After the Belgian opening weekend, the choice will be between Paris-Nice and Strade Bianche-Tirreno Adriatico. That is still undecided.”

“I then want to combine the Flemish and the Walloon classics. If you don’t race the entire list, I think that combination is feasible. In any case, the Tour of Flanders and the Walloon classics, although we still have doubts about the Fleche Wallone  because I want to start Liège-Bastogne-Liège as fresh as possible. Maybe that helps to be really good there. But that is not yet final.”

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Talking about Grand Tours, Wellens explains “I only have good memories of the Vuelta, but unfortunately that lap overlaps with other great races. Choosing is losing, but I have decided to do the Tour de France as the only big tour this year. That’s not bad either.  Wearing the yellow jersey is unique and the first week looks attractive, with some great opportunities. The big problem is that 150 riders ride around with that idea in mind, so it’s not that simple. But if the opportunity arises, I will do everything I can. Also when it comes to a shot at stage win. I already won in the Giro and the Vuelta. Success in the Tour would fit nicely into that list. Although it seems the most difficult of the three to succeed. ”

So I don’t do the Giro either, this year. It would be too much. I prefer to stay in shape in the races that come after the Tour. Such as the Tour of Poland and the BinckBank Tour. ”

“Like many riders, I keep dreaming of a great classic victory. That remains a big goal for me. Although I am of course also happy with stage wins in the Tours. But if I could choose, then a triumph in a classic. Which? Preferably a Monument. Difficult to choose which one. I already dare to give different answers if I get that question several times. So   Liège-Bastogne-Liège, although I’m not really picky. ”

What are the other goals? “I once won the BinckBank Tour and the Tour de Poland. At a slightly higher level, I may one day try to win Paris-Nice. This year seems like an edition in which that could be feasible. But I also want to ride the Strade Bianche. It is still undecided which of the two I will be riding later. Whether that can be combined with my classic ambitions? Yes. That goes hand in hand. ”

On the subject of a home World Championship  in the Flanders region of Belgium, he says “National coach Sven Vanthourenhout has just arrived at our hotel here to talk about it. The parcour is very attractive. I think every Belgian wants to be there. Me too, yes. We’ll see what the coach says about it, but I’m interested. The Belgian team has chances of winning, especially with Wout van Aert after the way he rode drove last year. My job will then be to help the team. ”

Explaining why he isn’t interested in the Olympics, Wellen’s says “I was in Rio in 2016. That was a nice experience, especially since Greg became Olympic champion then. But this season is inconvenient. Too short after the Tour, too close to races that come after, a possible quarantine, a long journey with jet lag… Moreover, there are only five spots and two of them are already fixed (Evenepoel and Van Aert). So only three spaces remain. No, I’m going to pass. It doesn’t seem worth it. ”

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