Josef Benetseder of Team Volksbank doesn't believe the stories that pro cycling is in a decline. After his first experience racing in Belgium on Saturday in the Omloop Het Volk, he said, "Cycling is surely not dying here." He was thrilled by the reactions of the fans. "Some even wanted my autograph, they even knew my name." He talked about the race being hard, but offering good experience. The Austrian added that "The race was a hard one for everyone. Always fighting for position and [there were] numerous crashes. It was an uneasy feeling, that increased as the race went on."
The 25 year-old didn't make it all the way to the finish, but that didn't bother him. The problem was "The cobblestones. It hurt like hell. 50 kilometres before the finish I was done."
He is nevertheless looking forward to his next Belgian appearance, starting Friday in the Driedaagse van West Vlaanderen. "The mood in the team is great. I am sure that we will bring in lots of successes this year. And if not in Belgium, then elsewhere."