Vanmarcke gears up for Het Nieuwsblad

Sep Vanmarcke’s 2012 wasn’t as straightforward as he would have hoped. The Belgian took his first professional win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, but fell ill and broke his collarbone later in the year. After his move to Blanco over the winter, he hopes to find more success this season. Vanmarcke spoke exclusively to Cycling News HD, ahead of defending his Het Nieuwsblad title this weekend.

CNHD: Last year was up and down for you, you won Het Nieuwsblad, but then you broke your collarbone. What is your assessment of last season?

SV: “It was a great start, with my victory. I had a really good classic season, but unfortunately I got sick just before Flanders. So Flanders and Roubaix weren’t good and then I had a break. I started over again, in Norway, and did Dauphiné, but then at the Dauphiné I got sick. I had a lot of stomach problems and I think it took me a month before I was really over it. It held on for a long time, so I didn’t race for quite a while. Then, at Garmin, we didn’t have that many races. I had to wait for racing until August, so it was a long time that I wasn’t racing. I started racing again in August and in September I was feeling really good, but then I broke my collarbone. Yeah, like you said, I had some ups and downs. The classics were really good and then I had some bad luck in the rest of the season.”

CNHD: How are you settling into your new team?

SV: “I’ve only been to two training camps with them, but so far it has been great.”

CNHD: What was it that made you decide to leave Garmin?

SV: “Now I’m still young and I needed to search where I can develop best, for my goals and my career. I think at Blanco I found a really good team for the classics, who can support me and will be there in the final. At Garmin I was sometimes alone in the final, in those races, and then it is more difficult to win a race or to get really good results.”

CNHD: How are you feeling, ahead of the season?

SV: “Good so far. Everything is great and I haven’t really been sick, apart from a couple of days, so I haven’t really lost any training. I’ve been working well, so I’m looking forward to it.”

CNHD: Can you defend your Nieuwsblad title?

“I hope so. My most important goals are Harelbeke, Flanders and Roubaix and hopefully everyone will be in a good condition for Omloop [Het Nieuwsblad]. I feel like I’m in good shape, but I don’t know if I’m good enough to go for the win there. I think I will be able to fight for the win. I will be good enough for that, but I don’t know if I’ll be good enough for the win. It will depend on how you are on the day. We’ll see.”

For the full interview read issue 43 of Cycling News HD. This week’s issue features full reports, in-depth coverage and stunning photography from the Tour of Oman, where Chris Froome won his first stage race, and the Trofeo Laigueglia. We also take a look forward at the weekend’s racing at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Thomas Löfkvist looks back at his Haut Var win.

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