OPQS Prepares for E3 Prijs - Vlaanderen - Harelbeke
The UCI WorldTour schedule continues tomorrow with 209.5km E3 Prijs - Vlaanderen - Harelbeke — A race that is popular with Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team, and also a great preparation for Ronde van Vlaanderen on March 31st.
Below are some comments from OPQS riders Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel and Sport Director Wilfried Peeters.
This week I had good training here in Belgium. I am really looking forward to the next two races, both Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem. I want to see how I will react in a final and against the guys who are the favorites, the guys who are always there in a final like these. I am hoping for the best. For sure one of my objectives is to get a good result, but I am also realistic and I know I have to survive to the final. I have to be there, and if I will be there it's the first final since a long time for me. It's important to get back in that situation again, to get the good feeling back, to be there to fight. It will be important for myself to see if the work I've done is enough.
I am happy to race tomorrow because Harelbeke is one of my favorites ever. I won here five times, and every time when I am at the start of the race or in the final it's something special for someone like me, who really likes this kind of parcour.
First of all I am getting better after my cold at the beginning of the week. I recovered well, so I am ready for the race. I really would like to be there and fight for a top 10 placing. It's a race that I love and I already rode this race a few times. It's a race I love because it's on a parcour similar to the parcour of Ronde van Vlaanderen. So for sure it's a kind of parcour that is suitable for me. I will try to be there and do my best.
Honestly I haven't thought a lot about being in 1st place in the WorldTour classification. I think it's better to stay focused on the race and then if I am able to do a good race again, the WorldTour ranking will be a consequence.
This race is like the little Ronde van Vlaanderen. I am happy the weather condition will be not so extreme, so normally we won't have rain or snow. It will be dry, so that's already important. Yesterday in Dwars door Vlaanderen I saw a good team. The guys are motivated and I think we have to maintain this level, even in the next races, to get a good result in the race. We have Tom who has won this race already five times. Each time he starts he's a presence in the peloton. Sylvain is also in good shape. He will be there to try to get a good result. We can also count on Niki Terpstra, who is having a good moment with his form. Really, the whole team is strong and in good form. For us it will be a good test for the future.