Kirchen in doubt for Amstel Gold Race
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kirchen in doubt for Amstel Gold Race

by VeloNation Press at 11:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, Brabantse Pijl
 

Team Katusha's Kim Kirchen was forced to sit out today's Brabantse Pijl due to a saddle sore that has been giving him problems since the E3 Prijs.  Now the infection has also put his participation in this weekend's Amstel Gold Race in doubt.

He told HLN.be last week that he expected to participate in Brabantse Pijl:  "I will return to competition at the Brabantse Pijl, but don't expect any miracles from me. My fitness level is at a low point, and the pain is still there. If the antibiotics don't help, then I will go under the knife."

The Luxemburger would have been expected to be a factor in the Ardennes Classics for his Katusha team, having won La Flèche Wallonne in 2008.  If Kirchen does take the start, he will be there to provide support for last year's winner Serguei Ivanov and sixth place finisher Alexandr Kolobnev.

Also expected to be a big factor this week for Katusha is new recruit Joaquim Rodriguez.  The Spaniard finished second in Liège-Bastogne-Liège behind Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) last year, and has already proven himself a solid leader after leaving the Caisse d'Epargne team.  So far this season Rodriguez has taken the overall in the Volta a Catalunya, won the GP Miguel Indurain and recently won a stage at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

Filippo Pozzato will also be part of the Katusha team this coming weekend.  Normally the Italian would have hit his peak form for the recent Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, but the illness that forced him to skip Flanders could see him put in a good ride for the team.

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