Knaven will miss Classics season opener
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Friday, February 27, 2009

Knaven will miss Classics season opener

by VeloNation Press at 1:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
 
Milram rider and former Paris-Robaix winner Servais Knaven will miss Saturday's semi classic Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, formerly known as Het Volk. The race opens the Belgian season and is often times a very important part of preparations for the upcoming Tour of Flanders and Pairs-Roubaix.

Milram rider and former Paris-Robaix winner Servais Knaven will miss Saturday's semi classic Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, formerly known as Het Volk. The race opens the Belgian season and is often times a very important part of preparations for the upcoming Tour of Flanders and Pairs-Roubaix.

The 37-year-old Dutchman has come down with a fever at the worst possible time preventing him from providing valuable leadership for the young Milram squad. His participation in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne the following day is also in question.

He will be replaced by Artur Gajek. "That is a bitter loss for our team," said Gerry van Gerwen, General Manager of Team MILRAM. "Servais Knaven is the central figure in our Classics team. He knows all of the routes in detail, and his assignment was to be to bring our riders with chances of winning into the right place at the right time. Despite his loss we will still have a strong team at the start, which will surely not hide itself."

"My cold was actually over, but since Wednesday it has gotten a lot worse again," said Knaven. "I have a fever and am pretty weak. It doesn't make any sense to race. It is really too bad, because we are all very motivated and this is the first big Belgian weekend of the season."

This is the 64th year of the race, although it is the first year under the name Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
The race is run over a 204.5 kilometer course with start and finish in Gent. It features 11 so-called "hillingen" with only 8 being in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. These races go through the heart of the region where the Belgian Classics are held, and also feature many cobblestone passages.

Team Milram at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne:
Gerald Ciolek (GER/Ermatingen,SUI), Markus Eichler (GER/Mönchengladbach), Thomas Fothen (GER/Kaarst), Artur Gajek (GER/Berg. Gladbach), Martin Müller (GER/Berlin), Niki Terpstra (NED/Haarlem), Martin Velits (SVK/Riemst,BEL), Peter Wrolich (AUT/Klagenfurt)
Directeur Sportif: Christian Henn (GER)
 

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