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Terpstra can retain traditional goals with revised calendar

The Dutch classics specialist says targets such as Flanders and Roubaix fit nicely with the Tour de France in cycling's new program.

Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie) says the UCI’s revised calendar fits perfectly into his traditional goals.

With racing slated to begin August 1 if coronavirus conditions permit, the veteran Dutchman says he’s ready to race after suffering last year with crashes and setbacks.

“I was happy to see the new calendar. It’s good we have a new goal,” Terpstra said in a chat with Shimano. “It doesn’t matter which races we have, when you see this calendar, it’s perfectly suited for me. My goal will be the Tour de France and the classics, and in these two months, I can make a busy but balanced program.”

Terpstra, 36, said his personal race schedule is still not defined, but with the way the revised calendar is structured, he can hit his main highlights.

“The biggest goals are Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders, those are always the main goals — the classics, the Binckbank Tour, and the Tour,” he said. “Maybe if there is a surprise for the worlds I could do that. The team wants to go to altitude, but we have to see if we are allowed to go. Otherwise, I will prepare at home.”

The spring classics in fall? Why not, says Terpstra, a winner of both Flanders and Roubaix during his stint with Quick-Step.

“Maybe some riders who are in good shape in April cannot have the shape in October. In the end, I think we will see the usual suspects,” Terpstra said. “It will be completely different, of course, but normally in this period, the weather is warmer than in March and April.

“I was a bit disappointed the races didn’t happen, but I spent a lot of time with the family, and I could hit the reset button,” he said. “I did some training, but nothing too heavy, just enough to stay in shape.”

Terpstra, who is off contract in 2020, said he won’t be turning to the gravel scene as an extension of his racing career, but hinted he’d like to race in some events in the future. He confirmed he will ride in an event being organized by Laurens Ten Dam set to be called “Dirty Cancel,” held on a series of dirt roads in the Netherlands to coincide with the dates of Dirty Kanza, the U.S. gravel race that’s been canceled in 2020.

“I like races like that, but not for performance, but more for fun,” he said. “My training mate Laurens Ten Dam, who now races in gravel races, is organizing a race called Dirty Cancel. I’ll do that. It’s 200 miles, and we have a nice route with a lot of gravel mixed in.”