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Back 4.5.2018

Roubaix Recon with Wout van Aert and Veranda’s Willems – Crelan

The final days leading up to Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix are tense with anticipation and busy with preparation. Wout van Aert – who’s gained legions on fans with his quiet confidence, skill, and determination on the cyclocross bike – is for the first time focused on the Spring Classics. And what a spring it’s been. At Strade Bianche in March, van Aert pushed his limits to the point of intense leg cramps, an effort that won him a third place and the admiration of the tifosi. This month back in his native Belgium, he hung with the Spring Classics specialists to score a 10th place at Gent-Wevelgem and ninth at the Tour of Flanders.

Next up is the Queen of the Classics, the 257km Paris-Roubaix with its 29 sectors of cobblestones. This week van Aert and his Veranda’s Willems – Crelan team set out on a reconnaissance ride of the course. Such preparation is crucial for the upstart Belgian team, whose motto is its hashtag #aimhigher. The talented photographer Balint Hamvas of Cyclephotos was along for the ride, willing to endure the chill and bone-rattling cobbles and dirt to bring you these memorable images of van Aert, his team, and his bike as they prepare for “the Hell of the North.”

All images © Balint Hamvas Cyclephotos