Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: BMC Racing with four-star racing team
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: BMC Racing with four-star racing team

by Samuel Morrison at 5:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
 

BMC Racing will start its classics campaign at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Saturday in Belgium with a four-star team: George Hincapie (BMC Racing), Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing), Karsten Kroon (BMC Racing) and Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing).

"In the last two weeks, I watched them at the Tours of Qatar and Oman," said Sports Director Fabio Baldato, "I know they’re good and can do a good race."

US Champion Hincapie, 36, will help lead the team thanks to his past racing experience. In 2005 he placed 30th 'Het Volk' and won Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, which the team will race Sunday.

"They are great preparation [races] for the classics," said Hincapie. "I have had a little bit of a cold this week, but am hoping to be better by the weekend."

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad starts and ends in Gent, and includes 12 short, steep climbs, many which feature in the Ronde van Vlaanderen.

"George has the experience," continued Baldato, "a good vision of the race and he has always done well on these routes."

Ballan will certainly be using the race's climbs to prepare for Ronde van Vlaanderen, which he won in 2007, and Paris-Roubaix.

"I started training December 1 and have been building up since," said Ballan. After a training camp in California, he started his season at the Tour of Qatar and then he raced the Tour of Oman.

He will skip Kuurne, replaced by Chad Beyer, and return to race in Italy: Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Sanremo in March and then travel to the north for Classics.

"Paris-Roubaix is also at the top of my list. I want to come home with a great result."

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad team: Alessandro Ballan (ITA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), George Hincapie (USA), Martin Kohler (SUI), Karsten Kroon (NED), John Murphy (USA), Michael Schär (SUI) and Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne team: Chad Beyer (USA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), George Hincapie (USA), Michael Schär (SUI), John Murphy (USA), Danilo Wyss (SUI), Karsten Kroon (NED) and Martin Kohler (SUI).

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