Hushovd returns to racing tomorrow in E3 Harelbeke
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hushovd returns to racing tomorrow in E3 Harelbeke

by VeloNation Press at 10:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury, E3-Prijs
 
Norwegian over illness, time ticking down to Roubaix

Thor HushovdHaving missed a key season target in Milan Sanremo, Thor Hushovd is aiming to make up for lost time and to build the necessary fitness to chase his big career goal of Paris-Roubaix.

The Norwegian rider has now recovered from the fever which prevented him from starting La Primavera, and will return to competition tomorrow in the E3-Harelbeke race. The race will in turn help the BMC Racing Team competitor sharpen up for a bigger event on Sunday.

"I was pretty sick last week so it was hard to do any training," he explained. "Now my body is getting back to normal again. I think Harelbeke will just be to race and see if my body is working and what I need to find my normal level for Gent-Wevelgem.”

Hushovd has had a complicated season thus far. He pulled out of the Tour du Haut Var on stage two, suffered from stomach problems during Paris-Nice but regained sufficient strength to take fifth on the penultimate stage, then missed Milan-Sanremo because of that illness.

He knows that if he is to have a chance of winning Paris-Roubaix on April 8th, that he must turn things around quickly.

He will be joined by eight others on the American ProTeam. Of those, three have already placed in the first third of the race, which since then has been elevated to WorldTour status.

The best of the trio is Alessandro Ballan, who was runner up in 2006. The following season Marcus Burghardt picked up third place, as did Greg Van Averamet one year later.

The octet will also include the 2011 UCI WorldTour champion Philippe Gilbert, who is also trying to return to winning form after recent illness, plus US veteran George Hincapie, Adam Blythe and Michael Schär.

The riders will aim to land a good result for the team, but directeur sportif John Lelangue also sees it as part of a bigger buildup.

"We have a few guys recovering from crashes in San Remo but this will be good preparation a week before Flanders," he stated.
 

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