Laurens De Plus breaks silence: “I understand the innuendo, but they are wrong”


Last Tuesday, Laurens De Plus already participated in the Belgian championship, tomorrow he will start in the Flèche Wallonne and on Sunday Liège-Bastogne-Liège is on the agenda. After a season full of misery, the Jumbo-Visma climber is back. And he is again available to the press. “Maybe I waited too long to talk,” it sounds.

Why have you maintained that silence for so long, Laurens?
“A decision that I made myself in consultation with my entourage. I wanted to make a full recovery first and only talk to you once I got back into competition. But in retrospect, that may not have been the best option, because I got more and more questions. ”

At least it fed the innuendo. You would no longer line up Jumbo-Visma because you are leaving for INEOS Grenadiers.
“I know. I also understand that train of thought, but with this one, those innuendo can be left out once and for all. My absence had nothing to do with my departure. I was injured and had to convalesce. There was nothing more to it. But again, I understand that there were questions. Especially because of that combination of circumstances. But the Tour de France was on. I reasoned that no one would worry about Laurens De Plus. ”

How did you experience the Tour de France?
“Of course I was initially disappointed that I was not there. But I still sympathized with the boys. I have been on an internship with them several times. I gave them success and was also disappointed when things went wrong in the final weekend. I would be a very bad person if I had experienced it differently. Incidentally, I had a great period at Jumbo-Visma and I hope to end it well. ”

A year ago, De Plus won the BinckBank Tour – Cor Vos © 2019

Can you explain to us exactly what your injury entailed?
“I don’t think I should put my complete medical file on the table. But briefly, I was struggling with stomach problems in January. Those were resolved, but then corona reared its head. It wasn’t until June that I started having problems with the hip. An inflammation due to overload. Rest and specific exercises were required to recover. Unfortunately, both the Tirreno and the Giro came too early. Now I feel ready for it. ”

You started at the BK. Was that okay?
“I suffered, had to gasp hard. In a WorldTour race, controlled driving is done in the initial phase and it all happens in the final. From the outset, people cycle hard at a BK. That had a heavy impact. But it was extra training after my internship in Italy. I have improved my condition and I feel ready to assist our leaders (Tom Dumoulin and Primoz Roglic, ed.) In the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. But of course I will not be able to ride the final yet. That is for later. “

What does your further program look like?
“An evaluation will follow after Liège. But I am on the longlist for the Vuelta. I am hungry, the fire is burning to get to the start. At least if Covid-19 doesn’t put any stick in the wheels. Vuelta participation would be nice to end this strange season. A season that I will not soon forget. ”

A moment about your transfer to INEOS Grenadiers. Are we talking about an offer you can’t refuse?
“No! I get the cliché, but it’s not right. I was in a luxury position and had several offers. But after a good chat with Dave Brailsford, I chose INEOS. Brailsford wants to go back to basics: a good group of young riders, to see who are the better ones and deserve the selection. I am not afraid of the competition. On the contrary, this is a way of working in which I do my best. “

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