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Weekend Round-Up – Week 6

Racing in the Middle East

It’s that time of year when the racing mostly takes place in the hot desert of the Middle East. With the Dubai Tour finishing last weekend and the Tour of Qatar this week, most of the riders are preparing themselves for some high speed racing in sandy and windy conditions.

Our Dutch guys of Team Roompot Oranje Peloton are enjoying their first time in Qatar. The boys are astonished by the skylines, the spacious desert and the proper amount of wind. Especially that last condition should not be a problem for the Dutch riders that are used to heavy headwinds on the flat rides in the Netherlands. One of the things that mostly remains out of sight for the public, is the difficulties of getting all the bikes and materials for the mechanics at races like the Tour of Qatar. You can’t simply go there by car and load up the lorry of the team. Everything has to shipped by plain. That’s also the reason why our other team, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, doesn’t have team truck at the race. And below is what the result looks like. All the bikes of the riders ready for boarding. That’s what they call a logistic operation.

And this is the result of not having your team truck and bus at the race, getting changed on the streets of Qatar.

Here are some snapshots of the riders of Team Roompot in the desert. As you can see, they are excited to race in such special conditions.

Looking back at the Dubai Tour there was a good result for our sponsored team Dimension Data. On the last stage it was the Manx Missile who launched himself onto the podium, finishing third behind Elia Viviani and winner of the Dubai Tour Marcel Kittel. Cavendish will stay in eastern spheres, because he’s riding the Tour of Qatar as well. Keep an eye out for his fast sprinting skills the coming days.

 

Strong performances in Spain and France

Allthough the big races of the Middle East receive there well deserved attention, there is some racing going on at the European mainland as well. The peloton is looking for sunny conditions in the south of Europe and they are lucky enough to find that in Spain and the southeast region of France. In the 5th stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Team Roompot Oranje Peloton reached their first podium spot with Raymond Kreder. He finished 3rd in a stage that went from Valencia, back to Valencia again. A nearly flat stage with a bunch sprint in the final. The riders reached an incredible 54 km/u average speed and Raymond Kreder was strong enough to keep big names as Nacer Bouhanni and Matti Breschel behind him. A perfect way to start the season.

thisismyride_Weekend Round-Up_w6_Valencia

The past week was all about the 46th edition of the Etoile de Bessèges, a 5 day stage race in the southeastern part of France. With FDJ riding strong all week it was Thibaut Pinot who came out as the strongest rider of the French team in the end. He finished at a 2nd place in the closing individual time trial and that resulted in a podium spot in the general classification. Thibaut ended up on the 3rd spot in the end. More important was the strong riding of the whole team this past week, resulting in a first spot in the Team Classification. This result gives the team confidence for the coming races where they will need each other when they will be racing for good results. Our other partner, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, used the Etoile de Bessèges to further sharpen the form of the riders. Boris Dron was active in the attack on Friday and Antoine Demoitie even rode in yellow, being second for a short time in the points classification.

Photos : Pressesports

Posted by Equipe Cycliste FDJ on Thursday, February 4, 2016

 

Joost Wichman and pump battles

Our sponsored off road champion Joost Wichman was preparing himself for one of the main events of the year for him personally, the Pump Battle World Series. These races on a short pump track circuit are still one of the favourite things to do for the former world champion four cross. Together with some kids Joost was pumping in some energy last weekend!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BBhFH02pSI6/

 

UCI points

Offroad there was success for the new rider of Brentjens MTB Racing Team. Sebastian Fini finished 4th in a cross country race in Greece. Sebastian was in the front of the race the whole day and managed to score some more UCI points. Next up is a week of more hard training and riding a new race coming weekend in Salamina.