Classics riders focus on Dwars Door Vlaanderen
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Classics riders focus on Dwars Door Vlaanderen

by VeloNation Press at 6:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics

The big teams will look to the Dwars Door Vlaanderen this week to continue their buildup for the cobbled classics in April.

This past weekend in Milan-Sanremo pre-race favorite Tom Boonen's finish was mired in cramps and miscommunication as Columbia - High Road's Mark Cavendish sprinted out of the field to claim his first Classic win. Still, Quick-Step remains on top in both the team and individual UCI World Rankings thanks to Allan Davis' fourth place finish.

Quick-Step's Sylvain Chavanel is recovering from a cold, so team director Wilfried Peeters is not sure how he will perform. Last year he made history as the first ever French winner of the race, and that result likely contributed to his finding a new home with the Belgian team. They will likely look to Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder for a victory in the race unless Chavanel's cold improves.

Servais Knaven is now set to mentor the young Milram Team through the classics after having to miss Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne from illness. "Niki Terpstra is in very good form right now and absolutely wants to ride the one-day races in Flanders, in order to be perfectly prepared for the April Classics," said the teams General Manager Gerry van Gerwen.

The Dwars Door Vlaanderen course runs through the Belgian region of Flanders and features 12 short but steep climbs, the most difficult of which is the Paterberg. At 365 meters with a maximum gradient of 20 percent, the climb comes 134km into the race and is a good place for the strong teams to split the race apart. The last 30 kilometers of the day consist are made up of 15 kilometer long circuits around Waregem for the finish.


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