Kirchen forecasts more open racing in 2010
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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Kirchen forecasts more open racing in 2010

by Conal Andrews at 7:33 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Luxembourg’s Kim Kirchen has predicted a more open style of racing in the peloton in 2010, saying that individual teams will be less dominant than before.

“There are good riders everywhere,” he told Le Quotidien, according to Cyclismag.com. “We find again leaders in many teams. Forces are better distributed. Apart from RadioShack, the new team of Lance Armstrong which is very solid, I find that the other leaders are more isolated than before. I guess we will see more open races.”

Kirchen’s own career path is a case in point. Until this season, he was part of the super-strong Columbia HTC team. However, with riders such as Mark Cavendish commanding bigger salaries, the team is focusing on backing the British sprint star and others such as Kirchen, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Thomas Lovkvist are going elsewhere.

He will race with the Russian Katusha squad in 2010 and will be one of its top riders. It has got some good signings but not the same depth of Columbia in 2008 and 2009. That said, Columbia itself won’t have the same depth next year and neither, says Kirchen, will certain other teams.

"For example, in recent years in the Tour of Flanders, you have always seen a Quick Step team that is stronger than the others. I would be surprised that this is still really the case this year.”

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