Lorena Wiebes Sets Sights On Brugge-De Panne

There is no doubt that Lorena Wiebes of Team SD Worx has a special bond with Brugge-De Panne. In 2018, she rode her first WorldTour race there in the elite as a 19-year-old and took fourth place. Two years later, she could already add the race to her palmares. “I never expected that fourth place in my first race at the very highest level. In 2020, I won after a disqualification for Jolien d’Hoore but in my head that time doesn’t completely count yet. I definitely want to cross the finish line cheering in De Panne one day.”

The European champion has now marked Bruges-De Panne and Ghent-Wevelgem as among her big goals for the season. “I realise they are snapshots, so it’s not like my season is a failure if I can’t win one of those races. Brugge-De Panne is going to be a great race, as I saw on Veloviewer that we’ll get full on the wind with speeds of up to 30 kilometres per hour. So spectacle guaranteed with echelons no doubt. It doesn’t scare me, because Team SD Worx is good at positioning. But we will have to be constantly alert.”

“I expect a first real showdown with Charlotte Kool and Elisa Balsamo. The fans have been waiting for it for a while,” Wiebes continued. “Brugge-De Panne is one of the few really sprint races, except when the wind is on the side in De Moeren. Then it immediately gets a lot tougher, but I like to see that too.”

The European champion feels that she made strides last winter. “Team SD Worx has made me better. In terms of toughness and in terms of daring. Not only do I get over a climb easier, I also dare to go for the attack because I know I have enough left for the sprint. So I feel I have gained more volume. I think that is even more important than the victories I have already won. Our season start was perfect. I hope we can add another win to our record in Brugge-De Panne or Gent-Wevelgem.”

Lorena Wiebes has competed for the win almost every year. “This is one of the few real sprinters’ races. Maybe it will be the first real showdown with Charlotte Kool and Elisa Balsamo. I hope to win here, because this race was marked on my calendar in advance.”

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