Only one regional rider started the local Dwar Hegland on Saturday and he still has a Dutch passport in his pocket. Still, the race feels like a home sport for Matthijs Paschens, who has lived in Leuven since childhood. He is also fully established with his Lotto-Dstny team.
“This will be the second or third time I’ll be at the start at Aarschot,” says Paschens. “And no, unfortunately I haven’t scored a single result yet. Why? Because this race is majorly one where you have to be in the right place at the right time. It’s almost impossible to come back on a course like that. There shouldn’t be too many setbacks in. In the previous edition, bad luck and poor placement kept me from finishing in the Citadel in Diest.
Still, the Lotto-Dustny residents of Leuven look forward to Saturday’s match with a rosy glee. “Because we are at the start with a good team. We have two great spearmen with Florian Vermeersch and Friedrich Frisson. Not only do they come from altitude training, but the curriculum must also suit them. Those are the two cards we want to bring to the table.” It will probably be an open race and in that case it will be important to have as many riders as possible from our team at the front. We will see what happens after that, although I am hopeful that I will be able to play an important role this time .
Paasschens made the move to Lotto-Dstny last winter and hasn’t regretted it for a second to this day. “I really feel at home there. It’s a good environment and a good atmosphere, I’m motivated and love running. So I’m confident we’ll take more steps. With the base we have now, we Will be able to achieve great things. I think the team is also satisfied with me and I am confident that I will also get my chances. As it already happened last Sunday at the Brussels Cycling Classic.
blow on the curse
Like BK, the Dutch Championships will also take place later this month, but Paschens is fit for it. “It has been hectic and we have to take good care of our bodies. Instead, I’m going with my girlfriend to the Greek island of Kos to take a break for a week. Then I go on an internship in Livigno to start the second half of the season with renewed vigor.