RadioShack will start Steegmans and Vaitkus in Belgian season openers
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

RadioShack will start Steegmans and Vaitkus in Belgian season openers

by VeloNation Press at 2:07 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
 

Team RadioShack has confirmed that Gert Steegmans and Tomas Vaitkus will take part in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne this weekend, the two races which traditionally mark the start of the Belgian cycling calendar.  Their participation in the event was questionable after both riders crashed while taking part in the Tour of Algarve last week.

Steegmans suffered a concussion after landing on his head in stage three and had to abandon the race. He rested for three days and on Tuesday he was able to ride 50 kilometers, followed by a six hour training ride the following day. He completed both rides without experiencing headaches, so the team is comfortable he has recovered sufficiently.

“Since Monday I have had no headaches. The nausea has disappeared too,” said Steegmans. “The doctors advised me to wait an extra day and to stay in the dark to take no risks. Though – as everyone joked – I could not have a concussion because of a lack of brains in my head! The two training rides have convinced me that I am able to play a role in both weekend races. My good condition cannot be completely gone."

Last year the Belgian had a falling out with his former team Katusha when injuries prevented him from racing. Steegmans, while still not one hundred percent recovered, wants to avoid that situation again and take advantage of his hard work. "The only thing that worries me a bit is the stiffness in my neck and upper leg but that is not the end of the world. I can deal with it,” he added.

Vaitkus is also ready to get back to racing after crashing on his shoulder last week. The Lithuanian kept his shoulder immobilized for several days and, although not fully healed, has chosen to ride through the pain so he won't miss the opportunity to build his form.

“In Russia there is a saying: ‘One who doesn’t take a risk, will not drink champagne’. So I will start,” Vaitkus commented about starting injured. “In the past two-to-three days I have less pain, but it is still present. On the other hand, I was able to ride 180 kilometers today on the bike. I am confident of a better 2010 than 2009, certainly with less crashes anyway.”

Vaitkus was on his way to a high placing in last year's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, but was taken down by a crash in the final sprint and and broke a bone in his right elbow.

The Team RadioShack line-up for the opening Belgian weekend:

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad:
Riders: Fumiyuki Beppu, Sam Bewley, Daryl Impey, Gregory Rast, Sébastien Rosseler, Bjorn Selander,

Gert Steegmans & Tomas Vaitkus

Director: Dirk Demol

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne:
Riders: Fumiyuki Beppu, Sam Bewley, Daryl Impey, Gregory Rast, Sébastien Rosseler, Bjorn Selander,

Gert Steegmans & Tomas Vaitkus

Director: Dirk Demol

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