Vanmarcke: ‘I am ready to race’
DS Dirk Demol: ‘ISN has a strong squad with an experienced leader’
ISN to Flanders with 3 Belgian riders and 5 Belgian staff-members
Next Sunday brings one of the biggest races of the season: Tour of Flanders. After much preparation, including a large number of Belgian races with good results, Israel Start-Up Nation is prepared to take on the second monument of the season.
The Tour of Flanders, traditionally a sort of national day of celebration in Belgium, always features spectacular racing. It is a long race (264 km), full of cobbled climbs and short, steep hills. It includes the famous ‘Muur van Geraardsbergen’, the ‘Koppenberg’ and the ‘Paterberg’. On paper the climbs might not look significant when compared to the Pyrenees or the Alps; however, over the last 105 editions, they have been decisive in the finals.
Racing on cobbles in Flanders is a different discipline on two wheels. ISN’s team leader Sep Vanmarcke has been racing on these roads since he was young and knows exactly what to expect next Sunday.
The cobbles specialist says he has competed on these kind of roads countless times. “They do not have many secrets for me anymore. I hope that my experience will help me get a good result in ‘De Ronde’ Sunday.”
Sep is coming back from a common cold that caused him to abandon in Gent-Wevelgem. The Belgian classic specialist feels better now.
Vanmarcke: “I felt strong in the opening weekend, and in the classic races after as well. Having been sick is definitely not ideal towards this monument, however, I feel fit again and I am ready to race.”
Sports director Dirk Demol is just as experienced as Sep in Flanders. The former pro-cyclist, who won Paris-Roubaix in 1988, is looking forward to the biggest race on Belgian roads. “We have shown that we are able to compete, especially if we ride as a team.”
“With Sep, we have a strong and experienced leader. The others who line-up at the start are also capable of doing a great race. Surely it is going to be another special Tour of Flanders.”
Israel Start-Up Nation’s line-up for ‘De Ronde van Vlaanderen’ is full of Belgians. In addition to team leader Vanmarcke, Tom Van Asbroeck and Jenthe Biermans are also from Belgium. The full roster of sports directors (Rik Verbrugghe, Eric Van Lancker and Demol) can call the Tour of Flanders their home race as well. Soigneur Raoul Saren and team doctor Dag van Elslande complete the Israel Start-Up Nation team from Belgian perspective.
Israel Start-Up Nation line-up in Tour of Flanders (04/04):
- Alexis Renard
- Guillaume Boivin
- Sep Vanmarcke
- Tom Van Asbroek
- Hugo Hofstetter
- Reto Hollenstein
- Jenthe Biermans
DS: Rik Verbrugghe, Dirk Demol, Eric Van Lancker.