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Tim Wellens prepares the Dauphiné, interview with the winner of the Classique des Alpes Juniors 2009

Added: tuesday 28 May 2013 at 20:53:00
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    Tim Wellens prepares the Dauphiné, interview with the winner of the Classique des Alpes Juniors 2009This Sunday the 65th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné will start in Champéry in Switzerland. Before you can discover all details of the race route of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2013 on Google Maps on velowire.com, I suggest you to discover an interview with one of the participants in this race. This interview was initially realised for the official web site of the Classique des Alpes Juniors which takes place the day before, this Saturday.

    With Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol) we look back on his victory in the Classique des Alpes Juniors in 2009 and we then discuss his current pro career in the Lotto-Belisol team.

    Tim Wellens: "the Classique des Alpes Juniors is the most beautiful race for juniors"!

    This Saturday the Classique des Alpes Juniors will be organised for the second time by the de COTNI (the organisor of the Rhône Alpes Isère Tour). The race will however already see its 19th edition take place since its creation in 1995 (at that time organised by Amaury Sport Organisation) and several winners of the race have become pro since. One of them is the winner of the Classique des Alpes Juniors in 2009, Tim Wellens, who now is a pro rider with the Lotto-Belisol team and who won the race solo, ahead of Warren Barguil (now with Argos-Shimano) and his compatriote Zico Waeytens.

    During his training camp in Spain, Tim took some time to answer my questions and to look back on his victory 4 years ago!

    Tim Wellens in the breakawayHe explains us that that year the Classique des Alpes Juniors was his biggest goal of the year. He than explains how the race unfolded by saying: Since it was my most important goal I came to the start being highly motivated.
    I felt right from the start that I had good legs. On the first climb, I attacked with another rider
    (Marius Louvet, Bourgogne). Our gap went up to 1'30" maximum but in the descent the peloton came back on us. From there the whole pack stayed more or less together until the last climb and that's where I attacked, at the foot of the climb.

    When we talk with him about the fact that he was riding in front right from the start and finally had to wait until the end to attack and to finally win the race, we rapidly come to the question whether he understood early in the race already that this race could be his. No doubt about that because Tim's answer is short and clear: Yes, I immediately felt I was good that day!

    With his attack at the foot of the last climb of the day, he came back on Romain Delalot, alone in front at that time, and then started his solo adventure, towards victory. Wondering what goes on in the head of the Belgian rider at that time? Not much. Just that I had to go up as fast as possible. Yeah, what else can you expect from a rider who's alone in front at the race which he made the biggest goal of the year?!

    But what means the Classique des Alpes Juniors for a junior rider who's willing to climb the ladder? The Classique des Alpes Juniors is one of the rare junior races with such a mountaineous profile, Tim Wellens' specialty. It is thus not really surprising that Tim says about this: this profile corresponded to what I like. I even think that the Classique des Alpes Juniors is the most difficult but also the most beautiful race for juniors! Not surprising either that Christian Prudhomme realised that year that several riders were already ready to go on the start line of the race 35 minutes before the start and that Tim says about this: Yes, this race was important for me as well. It was the race I was the most looking forward to.

    Tim Wellens on the podiumThe Classique des Alpes Juniors is thus one of the most difficult junior races, but it's also a race where you can get discovered if you get seen there. Tim Wellens explains that when I was a U23 rider, it (this victory) was often mentioned on the start podium when I came to sign in. I think it helped a little bit in the end to get me a pro contract.
    The other 2 Belgian winners have also become pro riders and still are (Jan Ghyselinck with Cofidis and Pieter Jacobs with Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise).
    .

    Currently Tim Wellens is a pro rider with Lotto-Belisol because the Belgian team opened its doors for him halfway last year. Concerning the switch to the pro world Tim says: Racing is completely different. It's easier acutally than when I was U23. At the start they let some riders go and from there we continue the race in an easy pace. In the classics that's different of course, for those races it's nervous from the start till the finish.

    While he's only 21, Wellens was supposed to participate in his first Grand Tour in the past few weeks already because his name was on the start list for his team for the Giro d'Italia. He didn't however get the opportunity to see the Tour of Italy from inside because a knee injury prevented him from participating. Despite the bad weather in the Giro, Tim says: I'd have loved riding the Giro so I'm a bit sad. Tim Wellens takes the victoryBut maybe I'll do the Vuelta (Tour of Spain) so in that case it'll be OK anyway. He thus had to follow the race on TV in the past three weeks and explains that it's now completely different when I watch it on TV compared to before because I now personally know many of the riders.

    And if you'd like to see the current performance of the winner of the Classique des Alpes Juniors 2009, you can do so quite soon in the same region as where the Classique des Alpes Juniors takes place because Tim explained: I'm currently in Spain to prepare the Critérium du Dauphiné. After the Dauphiné I'll do the Belgian Championships where I'd like to get a good result. After that my programme has not been decided yet ...

    I would like to thank Tim for his cooperation for this interview and wish him luck, in the Dauphiné to start with and of course in the following races he'll participate in!

    source photos: Tim Wellens' personal archives
    And if you'd like to see the Classique des Alpes Juniors 2009 in video images, you can check out the video summary the U19 Racing Team realised below:

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré| Critérium du Dauphiné 2013 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

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