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Roelandts feels national champ's curse

Jürgen Roelandts (Silence-Lotto)

Jürgen Roelandts (Silence-Lotto) (Image credit: Bjorn Haake)

By Bjorn Haake in Middelkerke

As Silence-Lotto comes under increasing scrutiny for its lack of results this year, its Belgian national champion, Jürgen Roelandts, is also feeling the pinch. The youngster has struggled with sickness and crashes after a decent start to the season.

Roelandts told Cyclingnews he hadn't changed his training and was in decent shape early in '09, much like his breakthrough 2008 season. "In Qatar I was already in good shape. Then I fell twice, which was a struggle."

He continued his preparation with some training in Spain. "I then did the Ruta del Sol. I was also very good in the first stages."

Then a familiar problem returned. "At the Ruta I was struck by food poisoning and I was out for a week. The same happened last year in Algarve." He didn't want to go as far as saying he needed to stay away from Spain and Portugal, but he was certainly frustrated with the experience.

"This definitely affected me in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne." He was the leader for Silence-Lotto in the second Belgian semi-Classic of the season, but could only manage 61st place, over eight minutes behind the winner.

Things are still not going his way. "Last week I fell again – I really haven't been lucky this year."

Roelandts couldn't predict when he was going to be back at full capacity; it depends on his back pain, which he is currently suffering. "We'll now see in the Driedaagse. My back is starting to get better, but it's still painful."

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