Van Petegem targets Athens medal
Peter Van Petegem is pleased with his form as he leads the Belgian team to Athens, where he is hopin
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE After riding the Tour of Denmark to test his form and being pleased with the outcome, Belgian rider Peter Van Petegem is not shy about his ambitions for the Olympics. “I am going for the podium,” says the Belgian matter of factly. Van Petegem’s final preparations for the Olympics have been to ride the Sachsen Tour, HEW Cyclassic and the Tour of Denmark. “I wanted 10-15 race days. Normally I would have ridden the Tour of Wallonia but it came a little too early, so I chose this race instead,” explains Van Petegem, who, despite riding in Denmark just for training purposes, was fifth on GC before he chose not to start the last stage. “My form is fine and I also had a good test in the time trial,” says the Lotto-Domo rider, who finished fourth in the 11.7-kilometre time trial. Together with Marc Wauters, the Van Petegem is contesting the race against the clock in Athens but it’s clearly the road race that’s on his mind. Van Petegem expects the race to be nervous because of the nature of the course. “It’s not terribly hard, but it’s very technical with a lot of turns, small hills and small downhills. I think a small group will decide it between them in a sprint,” predicts the Belgian, who’s not worried about the heat. When asked about his biggest rivals, the Belgian Classics specialist mentions the Spanish team with Alejandro Valverde, Oscar Freire and Igor Astarloa, plus Paolo Bettini and Alexandre Vinokourov.