Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team is preparing for a busy week out on the road, with one of the Spring highlights, the Tour of Flanders, on Sunday. We are warming up our race legs in Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday and the Volta Limburg Classic on Saturday.
Triple Dwars door Vlaanderen winner Amy Pieters headlines the team going into the UCI1.1 race on Wednesday and is eager to add a fourth win to her results. “Dwars Door Vlaanderen will always be one of my favourite Belgian classics,” said Pieters. "I think it's nice to see that the race keeps developing every year to the ever higher level of women's cycling. Because I was victorious in 2014, 2015 and 2016, it has a special place in my heart.”
At the Volta Limburg Classic, Boels-Dolmans will take to the start with last year’s winner. The ‘mini Amstel Gold Race’ was won by Karol-Ann Canuel in 2017 and the Canadian has already shown to be in great form again this Spring.
“I think the Volta Limburg Classic is a great race for women,” said Canuel. “It’s on the same day as the men’s race and I remember that a lot of people watched the race on tv last year and talked to me about it.”
“It’s a well-organised race and it’s in the region in the Netherlands I really like,” Canuel continued. “And also I would say that winning the first edition in 2017 brings only good memories of course.”
With the Tour of Flanders on Sunday as the main goal this week, Boels-Dolmans will take to the start in Limburg on Saturday with a four-rider team. Canuel doesn’t believe that this will cause any problems for the team.
“I don’t think it’s really a disadvantage for us,” explained Canuel. “I mean: it’s not something we constantly think about when we’re in the race on Saturday. We know we will be four at the start and I think, when everyone gives 100%, we can still do very good in this race.”
“We like racing aggressively and I think this is how we want to approach the race,” said Canuel of the tactics going into this race. “It depends on how everyone feels on the day of the race. We’ll see when we get closer to the race what we’re going to do exactly.”
Dwars door Vlaanderen is a UCI1.1 race aligned with the men’s WorldTour race. The 117.7-kilometre race will start at 11.45am CET and takes the peloton from Tielt to Waregem. There are five climbs on the course of which the last one, the Nokereberg, comes in the final 10 kilometres of racing. The finish is expected between 2.30 and 2.50pm CET.
We’ve been spoiled by all the live broadcasts and livestreams of women’s races lately, but for Dwars door Vlaanderen it’s back to Twitter to follow the race. The official race account @DwarsdrVlaander is your source for info, along with the hashtag #DDVWomen.
The Volta Limburg Classic on Saturday is considered a mini-version of the Amstel Gold Race, with a course that runs through the undulating southern part of the Netherlands. There are no less than thirteen ascents to be overcome during the 113.7-kilometre race.
The official race account on Twitter is @VoltaClassic, but no race hashtag has been introduced (yet). The start will be given at 12.30pm CET in Eijsden, where the winner is expected back around 3.50pm CET, after one lap on a short 5.4-kilometre local circuit. The men’s race will be broadcasted live by regional broadcaster L1, so we’re expecting to see the final kilometres of the women’s race again this year as well.
Boels-Dolmans for Dwars door Vlaanderen:
Jip van den Bos
Boels-Dolmans for Volta Limburg Classic:
Jip van den Bos