Cervélo still eyeing repeat win in Omloop
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Friday, February 26, 2010

Cervélo still eyeing repeat win in Omloop

by Bjorn Haake at 10:39 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics

The Cervélo TestTeam is still hoping to win the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, despite defending champion Thor Hushovd likely out of contention, still recovering from sickness. The team placed three riders in the top eight last year.

Hushovd named teammates Roger Hammond, Heinrich Haussler, Andreas Klier and German Champion Martin Reimer as favorites for the win. Haussler is unlikely to be quite as strong as last year, when he livened up the final, but Reimer was impressed. "If he really said it like that, it is a big honor for me," Reimer told radsport-news.com.

The team did a lot of testing the past few days. "We received new components, tires, clothing and the new glasses," Reimer said. There was also some hard work ahead of the races. "We rode the most important sections of the parcours and now know what is key on Saturday."

Of course the cobbles and the short, steep climbs are the decisive areas. "I have the biggest respect for the fight for position ahead of these sectors." Reimer was able to take some theory lessons. "I have learned a lot from the classics specialists on the team, something that helped me for example in Paris-Tours, where I finished ninth. But I think it still will be a long way to an experienced racer."

Team Manager Gerard Vroomen looks at the long term goals. "The win in the team classification at Qatar showed the TestTeam is strong again, but for most riders the goals lie a little further into the future than this weekend," Vroomen wrote on the team's website.

Next to Quick Step, he sees two hot teams for the early season. "Sky and Saxo Bank will be very strong in the Spring Classics - well, throughout the year really. Sky will have a blazing start just like we had last year, it's amazing what happens when you put talented riders in a new, fresh environment. It just brings them to life."

With all the material testing completed, Vroomen is ready to get some riding himself, potentially repeating the Ronde van Vlaanderen cyclo sportive. " Now, let's just hope for some real Flemish weather and let the racing begin."

The team for Saturday:
Roger Hammond, Heinrich Haussler, Jeremy Hunt, Thor Hushovd, Daniel Lloyd, Andreas Klier, Gabriel Rasch and Martin Reimer


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