After a month and a half without competition, Tim Declercq (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl) will be able to pin a jersey number in tomorrow’s classic for the first time this spring. “I don’t know if I made much of a difference to the team,” De Klerk said the day before his return at Dwars Door Vlaanderen.
Due to pericarditis, Tim Declercq was not allowed to touch a bike for 3 weeks.
Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl’s widely acclaimed workforce hopes to prepare for Paris-Roubaix. But 2.5 weeks earlier than expected, Declercq will appear tomorrow at Dwars Door Vlaanderen.
Declercq opens, “I’m doing really well.” “I didn’t have any other symptoms, otherwise I wouldn’t be at work tomorrow.”
How does Declercq conditionally work? “I had two good indoor trainings, in Calpe and Mallorca. I also completed a good 15 minute test.”
“My preparation wasn’t perfect. Everything is going well in training, but of course it’s not like competition.”
“It is a mystery to me where I will be tomorrow.”
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Will Declercq ride the Tour? “Only if you add value to me”
In recent weeks, analysts have cited the absence of Declercq as a reason for Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl’s poor performance in the classics.
“It’s good to hear people say the team misses me. But I don’t know if I made a big difference to the team.”
“The team really had to deal with a lot of misfortune: several riders got sick, others got involved in accidents.”
“If I’m just a few percent lower in contemporary cycling, that’s immediately reflected in the results.”
I don’t know if I will make a big difference to the team
Is there a chance that Declercq will be at the start of Vlaanderens Mooiste on Sunday? “The Tour of Flanders is the most beautiful classic tour of Belgium. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to be there,” says De Klerk.
“But if I start, I have to be value-added. If I notice tomorrow that I’m only at 80 or 85 percent of my ability, it makes sense that I shouldn’t ride a Ronde.”
When will Declercq know if he is in Ronde’s pick? “You’re going to cut that knot tomorrow or Thursday. Anyway, we don’t want to rush into action.”
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