Rider Diary

Rider diaries with Tiesj Benoot


After finishing the classics campaign and early season races, Tiesj sat down to pen his thoughts and reflect on how the start of his second season with the team has gone so far…

I’m into the second year with the team now and I’m fully settled here. It’s a really big team with a lot of staff and riders and it took some time to get to know everyone, but I think I know everyone now and I am really happy here. As for the racing so far, I think we have to be honest as we didn’t get the results we really wanted at the start of the year due to some bad luck and sickness, but with all of our partners we have a bright future in front of us in the second part of the season.

I enjoyed the style of racing we used in the Opening Weekend, where we tried to go for the win with Søren and I rather than just settling for a lower position.

Unfortunately, in both races the groups were pretty big and we couldn’t get away in the finale which was a shame, but that’s racing.

After the opening races, I was going into Paris-Nice looking forward to it and had good memories from there the previous year of course. It was a nice parcours, and similar to last season with the short TT, some hilly stages and the mountain finish on La Colmiane.

After the first mountain stage I was pretty confident we could go for the podium on GC as I got fourth place there, finishing on the same time as second place. We were confident that we still had some cards to play and could do something but unfortunately, I got a little sick on the Friday evening. In the last weekend I was on my limit and it was difficult to try and get any time back.

It was really nice to get the stage win with Cees and to be a part of it; and for me it was maybe my best race of the first part of the season.

Then in the classics it was a bit of a feeling of “what if?”. I had really good legs in Paris-Nice. If I had those legs without sickness in the classics, and the other guys were 100 percent too, then I think we could have played a really important role in every one day classic. Finally in Liège-Bastogne-Liège I felt like I had the legs I used to have, the legs that you need to have to play a role in these types of races. It’s nice to end the classics season with a feeling like this.

It’s good to be able to start a period of rest with a result. It gives me a lot of motivation to start working hard again towards the second part of the season and the next goals.

Until next time, Tiesj!