The Take Out | Weekly News, March 1

Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi

Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi

Opening weekend

After a long Winter (or summer I guess), its finally here again: Classics season. It all starts with a cracker opening weekend; Omloop het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday. There’ll be a lot of eyes on Michael Valgren this weekend, who won at Omloop a year ago. His move to Dimension Data was one of the most talked about in the offseason, and he’s talking a big game as he spoke to Cyclingnews this week “I’ve trained like a maniac, to be honest, so I can have good form from Opening Weekend. I should be in as a good form as possible on Saturday and then I’ll try to maintain it until Liège. I did a lot of work before coming here.” Greg Van Avermaet’s another big name, as he pilots the brand new CCC ship at Omloop, but not KBK. He’s another man that’s confident, but that’s hardly new for him. Delivering has been the issue - can he repeat his magical 2017 this year? Opening weekend won’t tell us much, but it’s gonna be fun.

Victor Campenaerts to try for the Hour Record

We haven’t seen a continuation of the mini-revival we saw in the Hour Record a few years ago; Bradley Wiggins still holds the record with a distance of 54.26km. This week, Victor Campenaerts of Lotto Soudal confirmed that he’ll attempt to beat Wiggins in mid-April, breathing life into cycling’s version of the Cold War.

Campenaerts has already taken the extremely beta-male move of saying that he doesn’t consider himself a better athlete than Wiggins; he’s aiming to beat him with science by attempting the record at altitude and having some great preparation. Personally, I would have tried a bit of old-fashioned self-confidence, but good on Campenaerts for trying something different. Hope it works out for him, and that he inspires a new wave of athletes telling us how they’re not as good as the guys who they’re competing against.

More Remco Chat

We love Remco here, so rather than rolling your eyes, you can just go ahead and schedule him in for a regular spot on these segments. What’s he been up to this week? Nah not much, just finishing 15th in the first mountain finish of the UAE Tour (15th!!!!). That’s ahead of Michal Kwiatkowski, Vincenzo Nibali, Richie Porte and about 120 other names that are going to be telling their grandkids that they raced with this guy.

Unfortunately though, he’s seen his first bit of misfortune though, as he crashed out the next day in the crosswinds. Already a seasoned pro, he took to Instagram to blame motorbikes for the crash, completely absolving himself. If you didn’t see that stage, they were practically racing through a sandstorm at times, so casualties weren’t hugely surprising.

See you back at the social club,

Josh

Joshua Duggan