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Langeveld: Rabobank’s spring is already a success

With an eye toward Belgian classics, Langeveld is taking it easy in Italy. | Brad Kaminski photo

PERUGIA, Italy (VN) ─ Two weeks ago, Rabobank’s Sebastian Langeveld was the star of the opening classics weekend. With Milan-San Remo and the Belgian cobbles around the corner, the Dutchman is staying low key on his talent-rich team at Tirreno-Adriatico.

“I just want to ride here with no stress and see what happens,” he told VeloNews Friday morning at the start of stage 3 in Terranuova Bracciolini. “Today there is a climb in the final. If there are 40 guys, I want to be there, but if it’s not, it’s also OK. I won’t take too much risk and be in good condition through the next month.”

Langeveld made a long distance solo attack at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad after the day’s long breakaway was neutralized. Defending champ Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) bridged with just over 20km remaining and Langeveld used a cheeky sprint to squeeze Flecha and take the win. Taking the favorites by surprise and keeping enough in the tank for the finale, Langeveld proved to be the strongest and smartest rider in Ghent, Belgium.

The 26-year-old said that he would take a backseat to teammate Oscar Freire next Saturday at Milan-San Remo.

“We have a top favorite in Oscar Freire. I hope I’m in really good condition to help Oscar. For me, if I’m there on the Poggio, it gives me a lot of confidence for the next classics,” he said. “Three years ago I was there on the Poggio, two years ago I was there. I hope that next Saturday I will also be there.”

After la Primavera, Langeveld will turn his focus to his top four priorities for the spring: Scheldeprijs, E3 Harelbeke, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. He’ll look to improve on his career-best sixth place in the April classics at Harelbeke a year ago. With his Rabobank team rolling in the early season already with more than 10 wins, Langeveld said the remainder of the classics would be without pressure.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s fun to ride now. We won the team time trial and we’ve won a lot of races and it’s really cool. It’s the winning mood. We’re laughing, we’re joking. We are really relaxed and for now, our front season is already OK. Everything that comes, it comes.”

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