Vanendert braced for difficult second Tour
Lotto Belisol rider Jelle Vanendert says he knows he will need to adjust to take on his second Tour de France after a promising first effort.
The Belgian 27-year-old finished 20th overall in the general classification last year, but impressed with a victory on stage 14, finishing second two days prior, and spending five stages in the King of the Mountains jersey.
Expectations will be different this year, but Vanendert says he is prepared for that.
“Last year I made my debut in the Tour, and everything I did was good, that was easy. Now I get some expectations, the perception is different.
“Few riders are able to win a stage. Not so long ago I calculated together with Jurgen Van de Walle how many teams had won a stage in a Tour. There aren’t many, because last year Cavendish won five and we won three.”
Vanendert added that his focus was not the general classification, but competing for stage wins and assisting Jurgen van den Broeck’s bid for glory.
The general ranking isn’t a priority,” the Belgian added. “During the Tour, a good classification is possible, but other targets are more important. It’s the same thing with the mountain jersey. The two targets, assisting Jurgen and winning a stage, are possible to unite. That’s my ambition: I want to be able to say afterwards that I did my work properly and that battled for stage victories.”