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  • Review of the season

    31 october 2014 - 13:10

    Dany Schoonbaert, manager of the Lotto Belisol Ladies, reviews the season. The elite team won fifteen times, among those victories are the Belgian road Championship and three stages in the Giro Rosa.

    Victory at Belgian Championship
    Dany Schoonbaert, manager Lotto Belisol Ladies:
    "For the first time in ten years a rider of our team won the Belgian Championship, that's definitely a highlight of this season. Also the Giro Rosa was successful. Emma Pooley won three stages and the mountains classification. In the World Cup races we got some top ten results. Two times the seventh place: Liesbet De Vocht in the Tour of Flanders and Emma Pooley in the Flèche Wallonne. Jolien D'hoore was fourth in the Sparkassen Giro. She also set other nice results, like the double stage win in the BeNe Ladies Tour and the victory in the Diamond Tour."

    Injuries
    "The team was less strong as a whole, injuries played a big part in that. The season of Isabelle Söderberg was already over after one stage in the Tour of Qatar, she still suffered the consequences of a crash in 2013. Otherwise she would have been a great support. Celine Van Severen had problems with her back. Injuries and illnesses had a big influence this year."

    Successful season
    "Nonetheless the season was successful for the Lotto Belisol Ladies. The riders set nice results. In many races we battled for the victory. Amy Cure was third in Dwars door Vlaanderen for example. She also performed strongly on the track. At the World Championships in Cali she conquered the rainbow jersey in the points race."

    A good youth team
    "Fenna Vanhoutte was the rider of the youth team who gathered most victories, sixteen in total. Jesse Vandenbulcke won the Belgian Championship time trial and the GC of the Energiewacht Tour for juniors. On the track Catherine Wernimont had a good season. In January Laura Verdonschot became Belgian champion cyclo-cross for the third time in a row. So we can look back on a good season with our youth team as well."

     

     

     

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  • Liesbet De Vocht has retired

    29 october 2014 - 14:10

    Liesbet De Vocht has retired from cycling. In this last season she got fourth in Omloop Het Nieusblad and seventh in Ghent-Wevelgem and Tour of Flanders. She took silver at the Belgian Championship time trial. Liesbet won the races in Prosperpolder and Arendonk, where she had a farewell race mid-July to thank friends, family and supporters. Then she continued for some weeks. The 35-year-old rider did lots of work for the team and could share her experience with younger riders. Over the years De Vocht won six Belgian titles, four in the time trial and two in the road race.

    More fun as I got stronger
    Liesbet De Vocht:
    "First I did mountain bike and cyclo-cross, then I moved to the road. At first I did not think I would ever have such a career on the road. I found racing on the road boring and I didn't plan to continue with it, but the races became more fun as I got stronger. I never dared to dream that I could go to the Olympics or become Belgian champion though."

    A plan comes together at Belgian Championship
    "I started my international career with the Lotto Belisol Ladies in 2006 and 2007. The people of the staff have always been like family to me. I wanted to have fun in my last season and decided to finish my career here. It also seemed nice to support Jolien D'hoore and aim for one goal with the entire team. That turned out to be a success a few times, like at the Belgian Championship where Jolien won. That race was perfect teamwork. We had prepared everything and when a plan comes together that's exciting for everyone. The entire team enjoyed that victory."

    Go full one more time
    "Because this was the last time I had to prepare for the spring races I could do more than usual. ‘Go full one more time', was running through my head. I knew that I would perform better in those races if I did. I got fourth in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and seventh in the Tour of Flanders for example. In that type of races I came close to the victory a few times. I got the maximal out of my career that I could with my way of training."

    The highlights
    "Not everyone can go to the Olympics, so that's unique. In became ninth in the road race in London in 2012. Getting a top ten spot at the Olympics is a very important moment in my career. The year before I wanted to quit cycling, but I changed my mind to try to get to the Olympics. Eventually I continued for several years and won some more Belgian titles. Those six Belgian titles, in road race and time trial together, are the other highlights of my career. I will always remember the fun I had when racing, the atmosphere and the life as a pro. I've always loved it."


    Victories
    2007: Kontich, Olen, Putte-Kapellen
    2008: Tielt-Winge, De Klinge
    2009: Evergem, Bornem, Provincial road championship Antwerp, Heusden-Zolder, Merelbeke, Olen, Stage 1 Tour de Bretagne Féminin, GC Tour de Bretagne Féminin, Flobecq, Boezinge, Belgian Championship time trial
    2010: Dolmans Heuvelland Classic, Belgian road championship, Ronde van Luyksgestel, Kontich, Dwars door de Westhoek, Kapellen, Leeuwergem, Ruien
    2011: Provincial championship time trial Antwerp, Belsele, Herentals, Belgian Championship time trial
    2012: Knokke-Heist - Bredene, Gooik - Geraardsbergen - Gooik, Belgian Championship time trial, Boechout
    2013: Provincial championship time trial Antwerp, De Pinte, Schellebelle, 's-Gravenwezel, Oedelem, Belgian road championship, Watervliet, Zwevegem, Rabo Ronde Heerlen, Belgian Championship time trial
    2014: Prosperpolder, Arendonk


    Teams
    2006 - 2007: Lotto Belisol Ladies
    2008: Vrienden van het Platteland
    2009: DSB Bank - Nederland Bloeit
    2010: Nederland Bloeit
    2011: Topsport Vlaanderen 2012 - Ridley
    2012: Rabobank - Giant
    2013: Rabobank - Liv Giant
    2014: Lotto Belisol Ladies

     

     

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  • Silver for D'hoore at EC track

    20 october 2014 - 13:10

    Jolien D'hoore has won silver in the omnium at the European Track Championships in Guadeloupe. After the first day the Belgian led the classification. She conquered that spot after the second place in the scratch, third place in the individual pursuit and second place in the elimination. D'hoore had four points more than Kirsten Wild and Laura Trott. Three events were left.

    In the 500 metres time trial Jolien D'hoore got second, just like in the flying lap. With only the points race to come Laura Trott had as many points as D'hoore. In the points race D'hoore lost the gold to Trott, the difference was only one point. The German rider Anna Knauer took the bronze.

    Jolien D'hoore: "I'm still disappointed that I just missed out on gold. That will probably take a while. This is definitely a good result, but when you see how close I got, it's a pity. Laura Trott and I stood close to each other in the ranking the entire omnium. The points race would be decisive. First I got ahead, then we had equal points again. The last sprint would be crucial. Twenty metres before the finish I was ahead, but then Trott passed me. But I get stronger every omnium, I'm making progress."

    "The track in Guadeloupe was made of concrete and was 333 metres long, that's exceptionally long. It didn't ran smoothly and that made it tough. You could compare it more with a road race. It was an outdoor track with lots of wind and the rain caused delays. You had to take several factors into account. Ten minutes before the start of the elimination it started raining and our start was delayed. Later on you had to warm up again. Mentally that's difficult, but the circumstances are the same for everyone. In the beginning of November I will take part in the World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico. Then there's an interland in Ghent and a three-day event during the Six Days of Ghent. In December there's a World Cup in London."

     

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  • Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour

    11 september 2014 - 11:09

    Today is the start of the Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour. The riders will begin with a prologue of 7.82 kilometers in Soignies. Tomorrow there's a stage of 110 kilometers with start and finish in Honnelles. A lap of 12.24 kilometers will have to be covered nine times.

    On Saturday there's another time trial, then the teams will have to compete against each other. The course in Colfontaine is 20.1 kilometers long. Next there's a stage in Halle of almost 103 kilometers that consists of nine local laps. Geraardsbergen will welcome the Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour on the final day. The women can warm up with a first lap of 29.31 kilometers. That is followed by one of 33.28 kilometers. In both laps the ladies will have to cover Tenbosse. At the end there are two laps of 18.86 kilometers with the Muur. The finish lies on the Vesten.

    Stages
    Prologue: Thursday 11th of September: Soignies - Soignies (7,82 km)
    Stage 1: Friday 12th of September: Honnelles - Honnelles (110,16 km)
    Stage 2: Saturday 13th of September: Colfontaine - Colfontaine (20,1 km) (TTT)
    Stage 3: Sunday 14th of September: Halle-Buizingen (102,7km)
    Stage 4: Monday 15th of September: Geraardsbergen - Geraardsbergen (100,3 km)

    Selection Lotto Belisol Ladies: Isabelle Beckers, Amy Cure, Jolien D'hoore, Chantal Hoffmann, Joëlle Numainville and Anisha Vekemans.

    Photo: Krist Vanmelle

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  • Stages La Route de France

    10 august 2014 - 11:08

    A team of six Lotto Belisol Ladies stands at the start of La Route de France. This is a seven-day stage race which heads from the west of France to the east. The start takes place this afternoon in the Vendée. Mouilleron-en-Pareds hosts the start and finish of the first stage and the second stage begins there as well. The race ends on Saturday the 16th of August in the department Saône-et-Loire.

    Selection Lotto Belisol Ladies: Jolien D'hoore, Liesbet De Vocht, Lieselot Decroix, Sarah Rijkes, Celine Van Severen and Anisha Vekemans.

    Stages
    Stage 1: Sunday 10th August: Mouilleron-en-Pareds - Mouilleron-en-Pareds (106.4 km)
    Stage 2: Monday 11th August: Mouilleron-en-Pareds - Ligné (123.9 km)
    Stage 3: Tuesday 12th August: Château du Loir - Vendôme (116.8 km)
    Stage 4: Wednesday 13th August: Cloyes-sur-le-Loir - Châlette-sur-Loing (137.1 km)
    Stage 5: Thursday 14th August: Paucourt - Migennes (97.3 km)
    Stage 6: Friday 15th August: Pougues-les-Eaux - Varennes-sur-Allier (120.5 km)
    Stage 7: Saturday 16th August: Marcigny - Marcigny (90 km)

     

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  • Two medals for Amy Cure

    6 august 2014 - 15:08

    The Australian Amy Cure conquered two medals at the past Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. In the individual pursuit she battled against Scottish Katie Archibald for bronze, the rider of the Lotto Belisol Ladies turned out to be the best. Gold was for the English rider Joanna Roswell. Cures fellow countrywoman Annette Edmondson gained silver.

    A day later Cure attended the scratch event. The 21-year-old got second and on the podium she received the silver medal. She stood next to Edmondson again, who had won gold this time. Elinor Barker, from Wales, completed the top three.

    The Commonwealth
    Amy Cure looks back on her two medal races and tells about the importance of the Commonwealth Games. Just like the Olympics those are held each four years. All members that are part of the Commonwealth can take part. That are 53 independent countries, who set up a voluntary association, divided over several continents. There are members of the Americas and Caribbean (e.g. Canada and Jamaica), Africa (e.g. Cameroon and South-Africa), Asia (e.g. India and Maldives), Europe (Cyprus, Malta and the United Kingdom) and the Pacific (e.g. Australia and New-Zealand). The British Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the Commonwealth and has a symbolic function.

    Individual pursuit: Bronze
    Amy Cure
    : "In the individual pursuit I was one of the last to start. Unfortunately my time wasn't fast enough to get in the gold-silver medal ride-off, but then I just wanted to secure that bronze medal. One of my strongest points is the start, so I knew I had to get a really quick start. I had my coach walking the line. With one lap to go I realized I had the bronze medal in hand. At that point I was feeling very confident. I was ahead of Katie Archibald and I knew I had enough energy to keep it going on the same momentum."

    Scratch: Silver
    "We went into the scratch race with a team plan to try to take Nettie Edmondson to the win. I tried to join some moves as well, but Nettie was our best option for gold. Everything went according to plan. I managed to come off with the silver, which was really good of course. I had done a big lead-out for Nettie and was expecting for everyone to come around me. That medal was a bit unexpected, I was really happy with it."

    The importance of the Commonwealth Games
    "For us Commonwealth Countries these Games are really important, it's just underneath the Olympics. For us it's a bit more worth than a World Championship. It means a lot to us. These Commonwealth Games are very big in Australia. I remember as a little kid sitting down in front of the television to watch the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics, that was the highlight every second year."

    Back to road racing
    "I'm back in Belgium now and I have the Trophée d'Or coming up as my next road race and then the Boels Rental Ladies Tour. I'm very excited to get back on the road and help out the team. It's been a good first road season with the Lotto Belisol Ladies so far, although I had some crashes and lost a bit of confidence. I'm bouncing back now and I'm really looking forward to a good last half of the season."

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  • 2 times silver for Pooley

    5 august 2014 - 17:08

    Emma Pooley has completed her last days as a professional cyclist. The time trial and road race at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow were her last two races. She defended the English colours. In both races she gained the silver medal!

    Time trial
    The time trial was 30 kilometers long, the riders had to cover the course in wet conditions. Emma Pooley was faster than Linda Villumsen at all three intermediate time checks. But Villumsen gained time in the last kilometers and won with six seconds advantage on Pooley. The Australian rider Katrin Garfoot won bronze, she was 48 seconds slower than the winner.

    Road race
    The women's road race consisted of seven laps of 14 kilometers. The English squad took control of the race. With 40 kilometers to go five riders took off: Pooley, teammate Armitstead, Cromwell, Moolman and Villumsen. Archibald and Elvin joined them a bit later. Pooley went solo at 11.5 kilometers from the end. Armitstead caught up with her teammate, when 7 kilometers were left. She continued solo and won with 25 seconds advantage on Pooley, who managed to stay ahead of her chasers by 46 seconds. A photo finish had to clarify who had won the bronze medal. Ashleigh Moolman was the lucky one, Tiffany Cromwell stranded on place four.

    Emma Pooley: "I was happy to get the silver medal in the time trial, but also a bit disappointed that I missed out on gold. It was very close. But you can't change anything afterwards. I'm just so pleased that I won a medal in the time trial, it's a nice way to finish my career. In the road race I worked for Lizzie Armitstead, so I didn't expect to get on the podium. I worked hard for her. At a certain moment I was solo and then Lizzie bridged to me. I was lucky to stay ahead and gain the silver."

    "It was not so hard to defend that second place. I just kept riding. I'm surprised they didn't catch me, because I had done most of the work in the break. When I crossed the finish line on Sunday I was very emotional because of the cheering, the crowd, my family who was there and of course because it was my last race. As a team we won the race and I got a medal myself. So I wasn't emotional in a sad way, but I knew I would never have that feeling again in a bike race. I'll just keep on training for triathlons now."

     

     

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  • De Vocht 2nd in LCC

    4 august 2014 - 18:08

    Past weekend the seventh and last race of the Lotto Cycling Cup took place: the Erondegemse Pijl. Ann-Sophie Duyck arrived solo at the finish, eight seconds later the peloton sprinted for the second place. Liesbet De Vocht turned out to be the fastest of the pack. The Swiss riders Désirée Ehrler completed the top three. In the overall classification of the Lotto Cycling Cup De Vocht got second with 151 points. Just like in 2013 Sofie De Vuyst is the overall winner, with a total amount of 188 points. Valerie Demey, third in GC, won the youth classification. She had 21 points more than Celine Van Severen, who was sixth overall. The Lotto Belisol Ladies were third in the club classification.

    Liesbet De Vocht got second on Sunday as well. In Ninove she finished behind Maaike Polspoel.

    Yesterday there was a Lotto Belisol Ladies delegation at the start of the Sparkassen Giro, a World Cup race. Marianne Vos won before Bronzini and Lepistö. Jolien D'hoore became fourth, a nice result.

     

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  • Commonwealth Games

    4 august 2014 - 14:08

    From the 23rd of July until the 3rd of August the Commonwealth Games took place in Glasgow, Scotland. Amy Cure and Emma Pooley both returned home with two medals.

    Amy Cure gained the bronze medal in the 3000 meters individual pursuit. A duel with Katie Archibald decided about the third place. A day later the Australian rider of the Lotto Belisol Ladies conquered silver in the scratch race (10 kilometers).

    For Emma Pooley the time trial and road race at the Commonwealth Games were her last races before she retired from cycling. She won silver twice for England.

     

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