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Van Dijk leads Specialized-Lululemon into sophomore season

Discussion in 'Specialized' started by I-am-Specialized, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. I-am-Specialized

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    <p>Ellen Van Dijk leads Specialized-Lululemon into its sophomore season this week at the Ladies Tour of Qatar. The 2013 marks a change of pace and guard for the Dutch star, who focus solely on the road.</p><p>
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    "This year is the first year that I actually skipped the whole track season. I'm just focusing on the road right now and not doing track Worlds. It's kind of a different approach for me this year," Van Dijk explained Tuesday in Doha.</p><p>
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    "I did the Olympics on the track and the team pursuit was a big goal, but after that I decided I wanted to focus on one thing instead of always doing two things, when you always have to make some compromises. After the Olympics, I decided to just go for the road for one season."</p><p>
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    The women's road season officially kicked off in Qatar today. Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products-UCK) won the opening stage. Specialized-Lululemon team-mates Van Dijk and Lisa Brennauer made the winning move with Hosking.</p><p>
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    The 20-rider move was crucial for the race overall as it gained 1-55 minutes on the rest of the field. The others in the move would have taken note of the tall Dutchwoman. Besides several track and road titles, Van Dijk won the Tour of Qatar in 2011.</p><p>
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    Specialized-Lululemon let her focus on the London Olympics last year. After placing sixth in the team pursuit with The Netherlands, she dedicated her all to her trade team.</p><p>
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    "I'm really excited about the team, it's strong again," Van Dijk explained.</p><p>
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    Last year, Specialized-Lululemon won the team time trial at the World Championships in Valkenburg to cap off a successful debut. American Evelyn Stevens stood out and marked a changing of the guard.</p><p>
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    "There are some big riders who've retired like Judith Arndt, the bunch will be a bit different maybe. I think it's maybe a bit different for some riders this year," she added.</p><p>
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    Van Dijk aims for a win in the spring classics and the World Championships time trial later in the year in Florence. For now, Qatar is helping her raise her level after training camps in Portugal and Gran Canaria.</p><p>
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    "I haven't been at home a lot. I'm trying to travel around to avoid the winter. It's just good to be racing in this kind of weather and staying in this hotel. The weather in Holland right now is just 0°C, raining and snowing. It's just a great opportunity to be here.</p><p>
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    "We want to raise our fitness level here in Qatar. Of course, we'd like to win a stage or something. I hope the wind picks up because right now it hasn't been that strong. I hope we can do something more spectacular than bunch sprints. We just want harder racing."</p>

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