Tour of Flanders: HTC-Columbia counts on Eisel again, Cavendish to start
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tour of Flanders: HTC-Columbia counts on Eisel again, Cavendish to start

by VeloNation Press at 12:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders

The HTC-Columbia team will again be riding for Austrian Bernhard Eisel this Sunday at the Tour of Flanders.  Eisel rode to an impressive victory in Gent-Wevegem after acknowledging beforehand that he thought he had the form to win.  "My condition is really good, better than it's ever been for this time of year, and I'm certainly ready to put in a great ride on Sunday," Eisel said before the event last weekend.

The race was moved to a more prestigious Sunday position for 2010, with Eisel opting to skip E3 Prijs the prior day to focus exclusively on Gent-Wevelgem.  The Austrian made the select group of four that contested the finish, which included Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), 2001 race winner George Hincapie (BMC Racing) and Sep Vanmarcke (Topsport Vlaanderen), and won the sprint convincingly.

 "He won in Ghent-Wevelgem and of all the team, he has the most realistic chance of winning in Flanders," explained HTC-Columbia sports director Tristan Hoffman.

"He's really focused, he's shown he's got great form, and we will try and bring him to the crucial final kilometers in the best position possible.  For him, winning Gent-Wevelgem was a big step up. He's always been very generous when it comes to working for the team, but now he can smell those wins for himself, too.  He's growing into a new role, but we're sure he's got the confidence to handle himself well.  Flanders is a very tough race, but there's no doubt HTC-Columbia has a very motivated squad for this event."

The 2010 Tour of Flanders will also see sprinter Mark Cavendish take the start for the first time in his career, although he’s not expected to lead the team.  "He'll [Cavendish] have a free role within the team's bigger game plan.  He'll be working for Bernie and be learning about Flanders as well," says Hoffman.

HTC-Columbia for the 2010 Tour of Flanders: Mark Cavendish (GB), Bernhard Eisel (Aut), Matt Goss (Aus), Vicente Reynes (Spa), Hayden Roulston (NZ), Marcel Sieberg (Ger), Martin Velits (Svk)


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