Yvon Caër: "a little something of Flemish classics"
It is not yet the “holy week” that shakes Belgium in April, but with the Grand Prix of Denain and Bredene Koksijde Classic we are fast approaching the cobbled classics campaign.
“The Grand Prix de Denain has evolved over the last few years with a course that now includes many cobbled sectors in the north of France. It’s a good first test before the Flandriennes, and especially Paris-Roubaix, for riders who are aiming for this type of race. The Grand Prix de Denain is a tough race, but it is often grouped together, in small groups. We will have several cards to play between David, Hugo and me. We are going into this race with a group of fast, collective runners, which may allow us to get away with it if there are 30 or 40 runners in a group. I won the Grand Prix de Denain, but on the old course, and for me at the time, I did not realize what I had done. I became aware of this slalom when I watched the video of my victory afterwards. It remains one of the good memories of my career.”
“Bredene Koksijde Classic gives a taste of the Flanders classics, with twice the Kemmel Berg to climb at the beginning of the race. There is also a possibility of edging, as Koksijde is a coastal town. It’s always good to have a race with edges, I like that. It’s a hard race that can end in a sprint, and I like to sprint at the end of a race that has been fought out beforehand, with a selection made. I think we will have a very good team for this event, and if there is a difficult race, we can hope with this team to get a good result at the finish”.
“At the Grand Prix de Denain and Bredene Koksijde Classic we will have the same two teams with Dan McLay, Hugo Hofstetter and David Dekker being our main cards. The weather will play an important role in both events. The Grand Prix de Denain is a competition that has become very specific with the addition of cobbled sectors, and which has had an extremely strong field for several years. Many teams come to this event in the run-up to Paris-Roubaix, with a number of benchmarks in various areas. Dan, David and Hugo have to be efficient and able to perform. The Bredene Koksijde Classic can give rise to different scenarios: movement race in case of wind, or massive sprint or in small groups. In both cases, we will have a lot to offer.”