"Now I know I better have a spatula with me" - Jan Bakelants hopes to capitalize on his Unboun Gravel experience

After his 14th place last year, Jan Bakelants wants to do even better on Saturday in the Unbound Gravel, the most iconic gravel race in the world. Despite his fourteen years of road professional experience, there were still plenty things the Belgian need to learn about this new type of racing, as the 38-year-old understood in his debut.

"I'm in better shape now," Bakelants told Sporza. "Last year I arrived here a bit like a tourist to experience it." He continues: "I have been able to train reasonably well for the last month and have not drunk alcohol anymore. It was nice to take care of myself again."

Thanks to his participation last year, Bakelants gained lots of useful experience. "I will respond better to certain situations," winks Bakelants, who had to clean the mud from his bicycle with his hands last year. "Now I know I better have a spatula with me for that."

"Just like last year, I participated in the gravel races of Valkenburg and Aachen. I also rode with Johnny Hoogerland in Austria and with Alejandro Valverde in Spain. I also completed the Belgian Championships. All good training for the Unbound."

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