Weissinger enjoys racing in (sunny) Belgium

René Weissinger racing in the Scheldeprijs

René Weissinger racing in the Scheldeprijs (Image credit: Bjorn Haake)

By Bjorn Haake in Schoten, Belgium

Team Volksbank's René Weissinger was positively surprised to not find typical Belgian weather at the start of the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen in Antwerp. The 29 year-old German went on to finished 25th during sunny day that was marked by Mark Cavendish's win.

"I kept checking the weather report in the last couple of days. There was talk about rain," stated Weissinger to Cyclingnews. The rain, prevalent in the last couple of days, didn't materialise.

"It's nice, don't you think? I think everybody is happy when it's not raining." Weissinger soaked up the sun before the start and, after the sign-in, removed his leg warmers to get ready for some serious pedalling. "The sun is out and there isn't too much wind. I think we could see a bunch sprint."

And that, of course, wouldn't be so bad for Weissinger and some of his colleagues. "We have three sprinters; [André] Korff, [Daniel] Musiol and myself. We will decide [who to sprint for] during the race. It will depend on who has got the best legs," Weissinger made clear that bike racing is very dependent on team tactics and honestly speaking with team-mates. There is a lot of intuition and last minute scrambling in order to get into a winning position in a race as prestigious as the Scheldeprijs.

The Austrian team got going little later in the season, but they have competed in a few races in Belgium already. Weissinger himself has raced in the KBC-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde and in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen. "We lack a bit of race practice," the German admitted. Not having raced all too much in Belgium, Weissinger added, "we still were behind a bit." But things are changing. "It's getting better. We did the Sarthe tour," Weissinger emphasised that the form is coming along.

One thing that makes the racing tricky in Belgium is the narrow streets and the nervous racing. Weissinger hoped Scheldeprijs wouldn't be that bad, "but in De Panne, yes, it was dangerous. In general, there are a lot of sidewalks and street dividers in the Belgian races." In addition to all that, the general rule is that the further up front you are the safer it is. "Everybody is trying to be at the front. Then, it's chaos."

However, the Belgian fans make up for a lot of it. "There was a super ambiance at the market square. It is very impressive." And with that, a smiling Weissinger went on to start his work day.

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