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Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

Larri Nov 12, 2014

ansimi

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Re: AG2R news
« Reply #61 on: March 06, 2015, 09:37 »
Classics plus Tour would be a much more suitable plan for Betancur but I can totally see why the team doesn't trust him with that plan - especially the part of the plan where he would rest between the classics and the Tour. He has a bad track record when it comes to resting.

It seems so late to not know Spring racing goals and could be tough to have any proper form peak.
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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #62 on: March 06, 2015, 09:51 »
    yes, with his newborn son, I can understand that he prefers to be back home sooner than later, but there's definitely a big risk of losing focus again.
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    L'arri

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #63 on: March 06, 2015, 10:07 »
    What he wants is to look good before the transfer season kicks off. Because there is no way he stays with #ag2r after this year.
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  • Cycling is a Europe thing only and I only watch from Omloop on cause I am cool and sh*t
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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #64 on: March 06, 2015, 10:25 »
    He has a bad track record when it comes to resting.
    I profoundly disagree - he has a phenomenal track record when it comes to resting! :lol
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    just some guy

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #66 on: July 14, 2015, 23:42 »
    Betancur will start for the Colombian National Team in this week's Vuelta Marco Fidel Suárez

    ~pdf startlist
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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #67 on: July 15, 2015, 07:05 »
    Betancur will start for the Colombian National Team in this week's Vuelta Marco Fidel Suárez
    Well, at least he's racing again.
    But I think his time at #ag2r is coming to an end.
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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #68 on: July 15, 2015, 08:39 »
    I saw him on the provisional start list for the Pan-Am Games too.

    Hopefully we'll see him at San Sebastian and Burgos too before the Veulta.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #69 on: July 15, 2015, 10:15 »
    Well, at least he's racing again.
    But I think his time at #ag2r is coming to an end.

    #ag2r would be crazy to keep investing in him. At best he has been suspiciously erratic and at worst totally unprofessional. Rujano 2.0.
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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #70 on: July 25, 2015, 11:29 »
    Just looking at the results from the Vuelta Marco Fidel Suárez, Bananito doesn't appear anywhere in them and also it seems like he didn't turn up for the Pan American games either despite being expected.
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  • « Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 11:44 by Murrjt »

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #71 on: July 25, 2015, 11:45 »
    yeah, looks like he didn't start - he just seems to be too busy at the moment

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  • Flo

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #72 on: July 25, 2015, 12:00 »
    Just looking at the results from the Vuelta Marco Fidel Suárez, Bananito doesn't appear anywhere in them and also it seems like he didn't turn up for the Pan American games either despite being expected.
    Thanks for editing that, I was a bit confused why you were talking about la Vuelta and why you called Fat Cat "Marco Fidel Suárez Bananito" :P
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    Murrjt

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #73 on: August 10, 2015, 18:41 »
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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #74 on: August 10, 2015, 18:52 »
    he is in Italy at least, together with the family. So there's some hope

    https://instagram.com/p/6HvL4Klf8H/

    (Ristorante La Nina, San Martino in Colle, Italy)

    if he will come back in shape until the end of the season is a different story I guess...

    edit: the little one has a "Handsome like Daddy" t-shirt by the way :D
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  • L'arri

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #75 on: August 11, 2015, 11:52 »
    he is in Italy at least, together with the family. So there's some hope

    https://instagram.com/p/6HvL4Klf8H/

    (Ristorante La Nina, San Martino in Colle, Italy)

    if he will come back in shape until the end of the season is a different story I guess...

    edit: the little one has a "Handsome like Daddy" t-shirt by the way :D

    I don't care when he comes back, quite frankly, just so long as he doesn't come back in a #ag2r jersey.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #76 on: August 11, 2015, 11:55 »
    I don't care when he comes back, quite frankly, just so long as he doesn't come back in a #ag2r jersey.

    what burn the witch how dare you talk badly about the Fat one  :D

    It does bring an interesting point up though Where does Carlos go?
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  • L'arri

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #77 on: August 11, 2015, 11:59 »
    what burn the witch how dare you talk badly about the Fat one  :D

    It does bring an interesting point up though Where does Carlos go?

    Any big Euro team has to realise that hiring this unprofessional waster means taking a significant risk. #ag2r desperately needed a rider like him two seasons ago whereas now that team's outlook is very different.

    His standout P-N performance, in which Slagter's bad luck played as much of a role as his own riding, now seems like a long time ago. Until July 2014, Betancur could argue that he was needed. Now his pile of bargaining chips is getting light.

    Since that P-N he has mostly hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons and there are plenty of talents prepared to work harder and more reliably than he has.
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  • cj2002

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #78 on: August 11, 2015, 12:03 »
    Now his pile of bargaining chips is getting light.

    Did he eat all the chips, L'arri?
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  • He shook his head sadly and told me that endemic drug use had compelled him to give up a promising career. "Even one small local race, prize was a salami, and I see doping!" - Tim Moore: Gironimo (Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy)

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #79 on: August 11, 2015, 12:36 »
    the thing is that he looked okay physically all year, and his family even moved to Italy with him as far as I know. Maybe it really is a different problem - either motivation, or health wise. That tweet mentioning "angina" (it also means problems with the heart in French, I guess?!) last week was deleted quickly though.
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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #81 on: February 10, 2016, 09:10 »
    quite a good article (in French) about Hugo Houle, his plans for 2016, and what it's like to live together with Antoine Duchesne

    http://plus.lapresse.ca/screens/bcf6067d-5014-40c1-b8e0-4227d35e5e5e|_0.html
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  • « Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 09:29 by L'arri »

    pastronef

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    t-72

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #83 on: November 23, 2016, 22:31 »
    Well, it seems to be going kinda slow at the AG2R camp, wonder if they'll catch up to speed in time for 2017 season. :D

    https://twitter.com/sondreholstenge/status/801202136843423745

    My browser doesn't load the tweet....click on the link to see this film if yours is as unfriendly as mine...
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  • L'arri

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #84 on: November 24, 2016, 09:28 »
    Well, it seems to be going kinda slow at the AG2R camp, wonder if they'll catch up to speed in time for 2017 season. :D

    https://twitter.com/sondreholstenge/status/801202136843423745

    My browser doesn't load the tweet....click on the link to see this film if yours is as unfriendly as mine...

    This seems to be an online trend at the moment, these scenes filmed in real time but with 'cast members' frozen into a particular pose. It is called "Mannequin Challenge". I don't follow social media much these days so I'm not sure of the origin, but it has certainly what the kids call "gone viral".

    This may not be you, but recent versions of Firefox have implemented "tracking protection" (a shield icon in the left side of the address bar), an option to block certain third party scripts, including the one from Twitter used to render tweets, because they record basic data about the end user. As a result, anyone with tracking protection enabled will not see tweets embedded on this or any other non-Twitter website.
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  • pastronef

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    just some guy

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #88 on: April 19, 2017, 12:56 »
    I missed those interviews with Sebastien Turgot over the winter. He didn't have many good things to say about his former team...

    Quote
    (gt)

    Sébastien, after nine years with the pros, you will not leave next season. How did your adventure end?

    Very bad. To tell the truth, it really did not finish well with the team Ag2r La Mondiale. I feel like I was taken for a :censored, I like the eleven riders who were at the end of the contract. I was not renewed despite all the sacrifices made for the team and good returns I had. The current situation has led to the shutdown of several teams and put more riders on the market. And for Vincent Lavenu it was not difficult to find new candidates. I ran three years with Ag2r La Mondiale but today I think I made a mistake by signing in this team. I did the job for the others when some advised me to run more for my face. Everyone does it, but me it is not in my mentality. And I was not rewarded for that.

    [...]

    With Ag2r La Mondiale, we started on the classics with four leaders. In this context it was impossible to make a result. Already the big leaders do not always arrive with an entire team at their service and the means put around them ... We did not have appropriate equipment. The classics were disputed on the same bikes as the climbers, with unsuitable casings. The settings were not good. I even developed a tendonitis in 2015.

    [...]

    Clearly, we have never benefited from the means that are those set up for climbers. The Ag2r La Mondiale team is climbers, climbers, climbers. The rest we do not care. We were not lodged in the same way. Romain Bardet, who has everything he wants as a leader, could leave when he wanted to train in Sierra Nevada with two or three riders, two masseurs, a mechanic, a coach, a sports director ... We, When we wanted to go on a stage to prepare the classics, we had to pay out of our pocket.

    [...]

    After the sacrifices made for the team, not being kept was hard to cash. I then went through a bad period during which I no longer touched the bike. Added to this was an unexpected check in the summer that I missed at my home. I renovated my attic, the bell did not work, and I did not hear knocking. The UCI personally advised me of this first no-show but by honesty I preferred to alert the team. I had exchanges by mail because from then on nobody answered me by phone. And in retaliation I was forbidden to run until further notice. They were not correct, they disgusted me with the bike. And then after weeks without any further contact, I was reminded one day in October that I would run Paris-Bourges and Paris-Tours.

    I went there, yes, even though I had almost done a meter of bike since July. There, I had dealings with Calimeros. Suddenly the guys came to see me, took news, all were afraid that I would flip a lead or put them on the face - it was seen in this team. I raced Paris-Bourges and Paris-Tours until the refueling, which was already a great performance given my level and the speed of the peloton.

    http://www.velo101.com/pros/article/interview-de-sebastien-turgot--15945

    Quote
    (gt)

    Your season was not that bad?

    No ! Afterwards, we had little problems with my former boss, he was not very frank with his runners. But hey, it's like that, it's the world of sport. It is more a universe of sharks than bisounours.

    How does the story end?

    Very bad. I do not like people who are not honest and have no respect for the riders.

    Have you kept in touch with your former teammates?

    No. It was over, it was just co-workers, it was not friends. I completely turned the page, I bike for my pleasure as before with people I love and I appreciate and not with people who do not care about my mouth.

    Have you not regretted leaving Europcar (Direct Energie since 2016)?

    Sincerely, yes! I wanted to go back, I recalled at the end of the season. I really wanted to stop my career but I thought that if I wanted to find a team, it was Direct Energie. Just realize two years and finish my career in a team that I appreciate. Afterwards, things happened, I did not understand their recruitment. There is a runner like Bryan Coquard who needs someone to take him to the sprint, which I know to do but they preferred to take Jonathan Hivert. I do not find the interest. Luckily they have friends in the bike. Unfortunately, the bike is like that, the results do not count too much, everything runs through the circle of friends.


    https://actuteamsport.com/2017/02/13/sebastien-turgot-je-suis-loin-detre-arrive-chez-les-amateurs-pour-faire-mon-champion/
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  • Echoes

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    Re: AG2R news
    « Reply #89 on: June 04, 2017, 11:43 »




    An interesting article about Oliver Naesen in the extra cycling guide of the 26 January Sport Magazine. It's a bit outdated now, it was at the start of the season but it's nice to know where he comes from, I think.  ;)


    “Luck Smiles to the Audacious Ones”

    But for his training mate Greg Van Avermaet, Oliver Naesen is the only Belgian to win a World Tour (semi-)classic last year. It’s the greatest achievement of a fast-moving up career which is even surprising himself.

    Quote
    The start and finish lines are no secret for me. I only need to survive what is in between both! #overpoort#OHN

    Quote
    Great tweet, isn’t it? (he laughs) I posted it just before my first participation at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2015. It refers to the time I was a student physical education at the Ghent university. I made the most of my student life. Once a week we went to the Overpoort [an area with about 35 cafés/pubs, nightshops, fries shops, bowlings, etc in Ghent usually frequented by students] to make a party. Not to dance, just drink. It often occurred that we missed the first class the day after. No need to explain in details! I was living in a flat – I was only living 20.km from it – but I was often sleeping with friends. I always was along but was not the worse. Most of all I witnessed a lot of things like a friend being transported into hospital or another one who disappeared in the heat of the night. The day after we were worried until we got a message telling us he was in Bruges. He caught a train and fell asleep. Nothing too serious after all and these are fond memories. Most of all we laughed a lot like the day we went out in Bruges. A friend had drunk so much we had to put him into his bed. But before that we covered him with swastikas with a felt-tip pen (hm not something to be proud of!). The next morning he went to get some croissants for us … without looking himself in the mirror. He went to the baker’s shop and got back to the flat in these conditions. One of my best memories!

    Identity Crisis

    Quote
    It lasted until I understood it wouldn’t work. In my third year I still had first-year classes. I stopped after three years. It was September 2012 after the “second session” [that’s what we call the August/September exams in Belgium for those who failed in June]. Of course my parents were not very happy but life goes on. I could not stand still. I was already 22. More than a week later I was at work. All of a sudden I was taken in the real life: up at 5am, working till 4pm. You could not think of a stronger contrast even if I knew what working was: at my last year at uni, with a point system [honestly I don’t know what it is, it did not exist when I was a student] I had to days off a week and capitalised on it to work with research agencies in the area.
    After my studies I became a courier for a washing plant in Lokeren (Initial). I was driving round everywhere with a delivery van. I went to 80 customers everyday, 300 to 400km altogether. What were the other option? Without any degree it’s hard. Evening classes? I didn’t find it too rewarding [he’s wrong, I think it’s the best!]. I had a bit of an identity crisis. Not really depressed because I knew I could only blame myself but I had regrets. I was not an exemplary student but I wasn’t a disaster either. With a little effort I would have managed it. Some were less good than me and two years later they completed their studies. If I went less out and didn’t ride my bike so much I would also have had my degree but I like doing everything and so I did half of everything. That was the problem.

    I started racing in 2006 after Tom Boonen’s world title. I saw the Worlds on TV with Jonathan, a friend who is now working in a bike shop. After the finish we said to ourselves that the following year we had to apply for a licence. At that time there was a real Boonen effect: in 2006 the amount of licence application at novice level had dramatically risen.

    I expected a lot of my first race but of course I was disappointed. I was competing against guys who had raced for several years. Besides I only was 140cm. I grew up during the 6th grade holidays and also in my family nobody has ever raced. I rode my bike but did not train, not out of laziness but because I did not know anything. Fortunately in Kerksken (Haaltert) there was a small team you could start in even though you had never raced before.

    In the following season, before our two junior years we joined a closer team: the Labiekes of Denderhoutem. The second year we had a more than passable team with Moreno De Pauw, Gijs Van Hoecke and Wouter Wippert who are now all pros. They were the leaders and I was observing them. I did not have their standard. I was always selected for the Interclub races but as the 6th or 7th rider. I never won, at best I was top10. At that time if I had said I wanted to turn pro they would all have thought I was crazy. It was not even an objective because it seemed so unrealistic. The bike was just a hobby. I liked it and did not have the faintest idea of what I wanted to do later. At school I took Modern Languages/Science in order to have a maximum of options for the future.

    Spartan Winter

    Quote
    I only won my first race in 2012 in my last U23 season shortly before I left uni. This victory brought me so much confidence that I started to think I could do more sacrifices for cycling: working, training, eating & sleeping. Not turning pro but managing to race in an amateur team and make ends meet.
    From that day on I got up every day at 5am. I worked for the washing plant from 6am to 4pm, went back home at 4.30pm, ate some bread and went on training, sometimes until 10am with a waterproof jacket and lamps. I only stayed home if it was raining too heavily or if it was too windy and trained on the home trainer. After training I had a shower, ate and went to bed. I wasn’t watching TV anymore. Next day, all over again. It lasted for two years. I’m telling myself it was insane and have to look at my files on Strava or Training-Peaks to believe it. For two years I had no life: I didn’t see my friends, only kept in touch by WhatsApp. 

    In 2012 I won three kermesses but I was only beating students of physical education teachers, no pros you know. During the following season after training all winter long I was really good. I was among the best elites without contract in Belgium. I won seven races including the kermess in Lede. Though there weren’t really good pros at the start it was still open to pros. An incredible moment. For me it was like being World Champion. At that time I started to dream a little bit. I understood that some pros were worse than me. In the pro races when we were racing in groups I had the feeling I could keep up with the best. At that time I had the chance to sign with Cibel, a conti team which could enable me to take part in 1.1 races or even in the Tour of Belgium. Besides I was paid for my expenses. It was a nice progression because until then I only could race for club teams.

    At a certain moment my coach, Koen Scheerlinck of Ninove took me apart and said
    Quote
    You have too many capacities to keep on working and racing. I prepared a winter training plan for you: it’s do or die. If you can manage it you’ll be good. If not you’ll stop racing in February. In winter 2013/14 I trained like now: 4 or 5 hour sessions. 20 hours a week after work. A Spartan winter.

    Not Letting Naesen Ride

    Quote
    At that time  I was lucky that my girlfriend accepted that rhythm. She was still a student and I didn’t have to go on holiday with her. So I dedicated all my holidays to cycling. Mid-May 2014 I contended at the Puivelde pro kermess. I found myself in front with Kenny De Ketele of Topsport and Francis De Greef of Wanty. I told my team director, Gaspard Van Peteghem I was sure to win. We were racing in his own backyard and I wanted to please him. A bit later Hilaire Van der Schueren came to us and ordered De Greef no longer to take turns. Then Hans De Clercq did the same with De Ketele. At that time there was a great rivalry between Topsport and Wanty. So I was a bit nervous and asked both riders and their team directors if that was the reason I took a day off. They were the professionals! That day I ended up winning.

    I later learned that De Clercq called Walter Planckaert after that race to tell him that he had seen a rider worth following while I was already a two-year elite without contract and in theory too old because at Topsport they only take U23 riders but I was the best elite without contract. I’m saying it without bragging: I almost won everything, including two pro races and two interclubs and if I didn’t win I came 2nd or 3rd. 2014 was the year of my first breakthrough.

    So Walter [Planckaert] came at my home to make me sign my first pro contract. He told me that he too had to work in winter when he was still amateur and even pro. He drove a lorry. Walter is a sensitive man and I think he found a bit of himself in me. Our stories have things in common. I owe a lot to Hans and Walter. I would never have turned pro without them.

    One month after that race in Puivelde before I even signed that contract I got an offer by Kurt Van de Wouwer asking me whether I wanted to be a stagiaire at Lotto. I was of course “on my cloud” and I immediately called my employer to ask for a few unpaid holidays. Since it seemed difficult I answered that I was going to give my notice of termination. Even if it was just for two months I absolutely wanted to taste pro cycling life. I had a nice little job but that was not what I missed.

    So I was a trainee at Lotto, which was unusual since I did not come from their development team nor any of their youth teams but in all the TopCompetitie races Kurt probably had to repeat to his men: “Don’t let Naesen ride”.

    That probably means he believed in me. Fortunately. Late July 2014 I stopped working and a week later I raced the Tour of Denmark as a trainee. These were a two and a half month dream, the most beautiful ones thus far. On TV I watched a lot André Greipel, Jürgen Roelandts, Jens Debusschere, etc and all of a sudden I was racing on their side. I was sitting next to them in the bus, they were talking to me and considered me one of their own. It was an honour and it was fantastic.

    Push Back the Limits

    Quote
    The greatest thing of the story is that I didn’t expect that. While most riders are pros at age 21 it seemed unrealistic to me. In Belgium if you are late to break through you are quickly scrapped but three years later I am definitely up there. In my life I’ve several times had to take calculated risks. Luck smiles to the audacious ones. He who follows like sheep does not reach anywhere. My bets paid off. I’ve been lucky but I also forced luck by training hard in winter. I’m proud of having established myself among the pros out of the blue. Knowing what real life is has helped me. When I was at Topsport I heard youngsters whining because they had to train for 3 or 4 hours the following day. I said to myself they should know what I’ve been through…

    These last few years everything came quickly. I had a two-year contract with Topsport but after a year I could sign with IAM cycling, a World Tour team. At my first season I was selected for the Tour of France, won Plouay and was selected for the Worlds.

    I don’t know where it is going to stop. A pro rider should not think about his limits he has to believe everything is possible and it’s true. I realised that during the last Lowlands Tour. At that time I felt I was one of the best, which is rare. I wondered if the other guys were bad but actually I was strong at that time.

    I hope I can start the 2017 season like I ended 2016. It could be very good. At AG2R I’ll be co-leader with Stijn Vandenbergh for the spring classics. It offers possibilities. Stijn does not want me to be at his service and I don’t want him to race for me either. We get along very well. He even was the one to insist on the team signing me.

    In the Flemish classics I want to battle it out for win. Even at the Tour of Flanders and at Paris-Roubaix, yeah. Of course I got more chances to fail than to manage it. I’ve already raced those races twice and the day before in my bed I’m telling myself you never know. Of course Greg Van Avermaet and Peter Sagan are not ten times but two hundred times better than me but they will be watched out for. There are possibilities for anonymous second-tier riders like me. At the briefings no team director will say that you should not let Naesen ride. With that status I can do a lot of things.

    The “Parelvissers” [“Pearl Fishers”] of the Donkmeer

    While taking a coffee at the Donkmeer in Berlare, Oliver Naesen tells the story of how he landed at the Parelvissers, the training band founded by Greg Van Avermaet and former Belgian champion Preben Van Hecke.
    Quote
    With Cibel I was a teammate of the Ongena brothers, Thomas and Matthias, cousins and training partners to Greg. They asked Greg if I could join the winter training and he said yes. I already was part of their discussion group on Messenger and later on WhatsApp but in the day because of the job it was hard to train. Things only changed when I turned pro. A few months ago Greg came to live 300m away from here while he was transforming his house. Preben lives 500m further. When we are in Belgium we started at 9.30am for Dendermonde where Greg is now living. My brother Lawrence is pro since this year (at WB Veranclassic-Aqua Protect, ed) and he also trains with us.
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  • "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)

     

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