Tour of Flanders: Chavanel ‘ready to do a good race’
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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tour of Flanders: Chavanel ‘ready to do a good race’

by VeloNation Press at 9:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders
Terpstra one of Omega Pharma Quick Step’s three protected riders

Sylvain ChavanelAs one of the strongest riders in Milan Sanremo and the winner this week of the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, Sylvain Chavanel knows he is in the form to challenge for the victory in Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen.

The Frenchman will share leadership roles with Omega Pharma Quick Step team-mates Tom Boonen and Niki Terpstra, and while Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) appear to be the riders most in form, Chavanel knows that tactics, a well timed attack and the collective strength of his team could see him triumph.

He was second behind Nick Nuyens two years ago and is clear that taking victory in Flanders would be of huge significance to him.

“I love this race, all the things around it are great,” he said at his team’s pre-race press conference. “The public, the entire country who lives this race, the competitions…I can't wait to take the start of this race.”

Chavanel is a strong attacker and an aggressive racer and – as evidenced by his many time trial successes – is also a rider who can ride well alone and who could solo to a win on Sunday. He’s undoubtedly a concern for Sagan, Cancellara and others.

That’s for good reason; he’s in form and is very motivated.

“I feel good and I'm ready to do a good race,” he said. “The team is really strong and balanced but also the competitors are fearsome. We don’t have to focus only on two riders but pay attention also to others. Here we have all the best riders of the world for this kind of competition.

“I’m expecting a difficult race with as usual a big fight to take the climbs in the first positions. As a team our goal is to try to win and we will do our best to get the result. We will have to play also tactically.”

Boonen admitted yesterday that he isn’t in the same form as last year, when he took the rare Flanders-Roubaix double. That means the team will have three leaders rather than just one, with Niki Terpstra the other who could seize his chance.

Third overall in De Panne, he is also a threat. He accepts that role, but insists that the race’s two top favourites have to assume bigger responsibilities than his team does.

“Now we see the last weeks two top favourites with Cancellara and Sagan. Other teams will have to carry the race now and we can lay low for a while. We have to be there in the final. But we have an experienced team. We know how to ride a final. We know the roads perfectly and maybe it will help on Sunday.”


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