Van Baarle ready for cobbles return

02 Apr 2019

Van Baarle ready for cobbles return

Related riders

Share this article

A month ago Dylan van Baarle was flying to Manchester from Belgium with his arm in a sling. The Dutchman needed surgery on his hand following an unfortunate collision in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. It looked like his Classics campaign could be over before it had really got going.

Yet, following a successful return to action at Coppi e Bartali last week, Van Baarle is now back in Belgium ahead of schedule and ready to test himself on the cobbles at Wednesday’s Dwars door Vlaanderen.
 
And then, all being well, Dylan will roll up to the start line at the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, where he will hope to continue his consistent form at De Ronde. His record is strong: sixth in 2016, fourth in 2017 and 12th in 2018.
 
“When we were in the hospital and the doctor told me my hand was broken, in the back of my mind I was still thinking, ‘Ah maybe I can make it for Flanders’,” he said. “But I knew that normally if your hand is broken it should be at least six weeks out.
 
“Thankfully everything has gone really well. The surgeon did a really good job and because of him I was back on the bike and back racing so quickly.”
Dylan van Baarle

Dylan van Baarle

It went really well. The legs felt pretty good. I didn’t expect to be with the top guys so was happy with sixth on GC.
Training on his Wahoo KICKR just five days after the crash and on the road only two weeks after, the team realised Coppi e Bartali would be a great opportunity for Dylan to see where he was at.
 
“Before the race I didn’t know what to expect,” he explained. “Of course I’d done a few big training rides but I was still unsure how I’d feel in the race and racing on rough roads. But it went really well. The legs felt pretty good. I didn’t expect to be with the top guys so was happy with sixth on GC.”
null

It was a confidence booster for the 26 year old, who has been in strong form since the start of the campaign. Winning the Herald Sun Tour - arguably his career-best result - demonstrated a man in form.
 
Does he feel the enforced rest may actually have helped him freshen up for the final block of cobbled Classics?

“Yes and no,” he opined. “Of course it’s also good to be fresh for this period but breaking something doesn’t help your condition. I can see it from both sides. But I don’t think my condition has gone away and it’s good to be mentally fresh for this period, so we’ll see. I’ll race with the same mindset as I would have done without the hand injury.
 
“The legs feel good, the body feels good, my weight is good. I feel in a better place to last year.”
Now in his second year with the team, Van Baarle says that he feels at home and more comfortable than 12 months ago.
 
“I was searching a little bit last year. There was new material to get used to, new staff, and you also want to show what you can do, so maybe it was a little too much. Now I really feel at home and comfortable within the team. I hope that’s showed so far this season.
 
“I just want to get that Belgian feeling again. I’ve missed the last three races here. I feel confident and hope that the hand will work with the legs!”
null

Share this article