E3 Prijs teams announced, key indicator for Flanders and Roubaix
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Friday, March 5, 2010

E3 Prijs teams announced, key indicator for Flanders and Roubaix

by Steve Jones at 11:18 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

The organizers of the E3 Prijs Harelbeke have announced the 24 teams that will start the semi-classic event on March 27. Traditionally the race has begun the Vlaamse Wielerweek which leads up to the big event, the Tour of Flanders the following Sunday. In the past the race was followed by Brabantse Pijl, but this year the calendar has been shuffled, and for the first time Gent-Wevelgem will take its place on Sunday the 28th.

E3 Prijs is critical preperation for riders that are eyeing victory in the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix, and will be a major indicator of what the podium might look like in the cobbled Classics.

Last year's winner Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) and runner-up Tom Boonen (Quick Step) went on to reverse the order in Paris-Roubaix two weeks later, and Tour of Flanders winner, Stijn Devolder (Quick Step), finished inside the top ten. Boonen has won E3 Prijs four consecutive times, from 2004 to 2007. His wins were accomplished on the way to winning a Paris-Roubaix (2005) and two Tours of Flanders (2005,2006). This year the Beglian will use the semi-classic as part of his build up for a record equalling fourth Paris-Roubaix win.

Big names who have shown early season form include Boonen, Pozzato, Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), Cervélo TestTeam's Heinrich Haussler and Thor Hushovd, Team Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha and Edvald Boasson Hagen and Nick Nuyens (Rabobank). The BMC Racing, Skil-Shimano, Vacansoleil and RadioShack teams all have leaders that are capable of putting in a strong performance. The only Continental team invited to the race was the An Post-Sean Kelly team led by Niko Eeckhout. The Belgian rode well at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad finishing in seventh place, which likely was a factor the organizer's decision.

ProTour Teams (12):
Omega Pharma-Lotto
Quick Step
Saxo Bank
Francaise des Jeux
Team Sky
Lampre-Farnese Vini

Pro Continental Teams (11):
Topsport Vlaanderen
Bbox Bouygues Telecom
Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo
Cervélo TestTeam
BMC Racing

Continental Teams:
An Post-Sean Kelly Team


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