Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) is hoping to get his season back on track at Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday. The Belgian has been working for his team-mate Jelle Vanendert at the Ardennes, but thinks that he can boost his confidence with his own personal result.
"(I need to) just fly it. That's what I need. I’ve got to go through that wall. With Jelle Vanendert we have a good leader,” Van den Broeck told Het Nieuwsblad. “I pulled myself up for Brabantse Pijl, though I know that Liège is another level. And who knows, if I have a good day and it is with us, maybe I can get something out of it.”
Van den Broeck has had a rough time of it over the past year. He crashed out at last season’s Tour de France, which put him out of the rest of the season. The Lotto rider returned to action at the Tour de San Luis in January where he finished 24th in the general classification. The following month he managed to make that 16th overall at the Tour of Oman and things seemed to be getting things back on track before he fell on the same knee - as he had at the Tour de France - at Tirreno-Adriatico.
“I was enormously looking forward to Tirreno-Adriatico. That was the goal for which I had worked. I had a good feeling and wanted to measure myself with the world’s top,” said Van den Broeck. “My morale was high, until I fell on that knee again. Shit. Then you know you have to start over. The fall was not so bad, but I was still a while. I was on antibiotics and threw my body completely upside down. I had to start again from scratch.”
After his crash at Tirreno-Adriatico, Van den Broeck took a couple of weeks out before coming back at the Volta a Catalunya. Due to his knee problems, he’s been riding in assistance of Vanendert this week, instead of his normal leadership role. It has been a case of one step forward and two back with 18th at Brabantse Pijl and 20th at Flèche Wallonne, but failed to finish Amstel Gold. Van den Broeck
“I miss that final touch to go deep into the last ten minutes of a climb, so that can keep up with the best,” he explained. “In the Brabantse Pijl I could keep up, but in Amstel could not. It goes in peaks and troughs. It's been a little more consistent, but I think it needs more time… My problem is that I can’t ride to just ride. Even though you do not always see that in the result, I always give myself completely. If that does not work, I feel bad. Like after Amstel."
Lotto-Belisol team for Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Sander Armée, Bart De Clercq, Tony Gallopin, Jurgen Van den Broeck, Tosh Van der Sande, Dennis Vanendert, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.
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