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Pro’s ready for CHALLENGEGERAARDSBERGEN: ‘Can’t wait to ride the Muur van Geraardsbergen’

The pro’s who will start CHALLENGEGERAARDSBERGEN tomorrow, are really looking forward to race and of course to climb the world famous ‘Muur van Geraardsbergen’. Title defender Pieter Heemeryck is more than ready to show his best. “I will give it my all and try to claim the victory.”

The third edition of CHALLENGEGERAARDSBERGEN, which counts as the Belgium Championship Middle Distance as well, is full of international pro athletes. Of course most eyes are focused on Heemeryck. “I feel very good and it’s a home race for me. It’s only a one hour drive from where I live, so I’m very happy to race here. I’m looking forward to go up the Muur van Gerardsbergen two times, and I hope my legs feel good after it.”

One of the biggest contenders for Heemeryck will be British Joe Skipper. “The course is pretty quick and you can push most of the climbs with your big ring if it’s dry. When it’s raining, I might use some swear words to be honest”, he is laughing. “After THECHAMPIONSHIP, which has a very disappointing result for me, I’m hoping for an amazing race here in Belgium.”

Other pro’s, like the French Romain Guillaume, saying that the course suits them, but will be tough as well. Alexis Krug, one of the contenders for the Belgian title. “This is my goal, but it will be very hard with Pieter on the line. He is definitely the biggest favorite.”

Daniela Bleymehl: ‘Let’s see how my legs will hold’

At the women’s race most favorite seems to be German Daniela Bleymehl. “For me it’s the first time here in Belgium and first time on The Muur. I’m really looking forward to race here. I’m coming from THECHAMPIONSHIP and in the middle of a huge training block, so we will see how my legs will hold tomorrow. I definitely like the bike course, the short steep climbs and the technical parts: it’s going to be fun tomorrow!”

Katrien Verstuyft is one of the Belgium athletes who can make it a hard race for Bleymehl. “It has been always a dream for me to win here, but if you see the field of women for tomorrow, this will be very hard. I just will give it my all and then see what the result will be. Earlier this year I had some physical problems, but I’m feeling very strong at this moment.”

Maybe it’s Italian Elisabetta Curridori who explains the best why it’s nice to race at Geraardsbergen. “As Italians we have a big passion for cycling and Belgium is the place to be then. It’s going to be amazing to go up The Muur for two times.” Same counts for Fenella Langridge. “I’m not going to lie, I’m aiming on that top spot on the podium.”