Van Baarle optimistic ahead of Classics bow

22 Feb 2018

Van Baarle optimistic ahead of Classics bow

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Dylan van Baarle is optimistic about Classics opening weekend after a strong start to his first season in Team Sky colours.

The Dutchman has quickly settled in to life on the team and relished racing at Ruta del Sol, where he performed a key team role for leaders Wout Poels and Chris Froome, before finishing off the week with seventh in the final day time trial.

Dylan hopes that bodes well for this weekend, where he will lead the team at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
“It’s been really cool so far,” he enthuses. “I think I went really well at Ruta del Sol. I had to come round a little bit on the first stage but in the end I felt really good. I finished seventh in the time trial and I think I can take that form into the opening weekend.
“I started the season at our Mallorca camp and that was a new experience for me. Everything is so professional. Then last week in Ruta I was racing with Froomey and Wout, two of the biggest riders on the team, and that’s something different for me.
“I really liked it. I’m really enjoying being on the team. Let’s hope I can get some good results now!”
Dylan van Baarle

Dylan van Baarle

If it’s Omloop or E3 or Flanders itself it’s always something special. In all of those races I want to show myself.

Dylan’s start to life at Team Sky has been made that bit easier by joining compatriot Wout Poels. The pair roomed together in Andalusia and hit it off.
“I didn’t know Wout at all before I joined the team,” he explains. “Obviously I knew who he was but we had raced different races over the years. We roomed together in Ruta though and got on well. I liked it, we could speak Dutch, so that was easy - and I like Wout as a person. I enjoyed it a lot, we had a nice week.”
Now Dylan’s attention switches to the Classics and, after finishing fourth in the Tour of Flanders last year, the 25 year old is optimistic about the coming weeks.
He is, however, hoping for better luck at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad this weekend.
“I did Omloop for the first time last year and I didn’t really enjoy it because I crashed! But the roads we race on I really enjoy. If it’s Omloop or E3 or Flanders itself it’s always something special. In all of those races I want to show myself.
“I was never the leader in my last team so it will be a little bit different for me. I think I’ve got good form, so I hope I can give the guys something back.” 

As part of his preparations for the Classics Van Baarle hit the boards in January, racing the Six Days of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
“It’s good training for the Classics,” he says. “You’re always riding a little bit over your limit all the time on the track and the efforts come in short intervals, so it’s really hard. You get some speed in the legs.
“For me it was a nice way to start the season and I think it’s also good for the bike handling. You have no brakes, and in the Classics you also can’t use your brakes - otherwise you lose a lot of positions!”
Now the wait is nearly over and Dylan can’t wait to get back in the Classics mix.
“You train the whole winter for the cobbles and the Classics and this weekend it all starts. I can’t wait to hop in the peloton and fight for the win.
“I think I’m ready for it.”