Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Can Devolder salvage his spring?
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Can Devolder salvage his spring?

by VeloNation Press at 12:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, Brabantse Pijl

Already in hot water with Quick Step boss Patrick Lefevere, two-time Tour of Flanders winner Stijn Devolder will be looking for a good performance in Sunday's Liège-Bastogne-Liège to help relive some pressure.  The Belgian failed to win his third successive Flanders earlier this month, and spent more time on the ground than on the attack in Paris-Roubaix the following weekend.  His crashes resulted in problems with his knee that kept him from riding in Brabantse Pijl and the Amstel Gold Race.

"I'm back to full training," Devolder told Het Nieuwsblad earlier this week.  An extension to his contract with the Quick Step team next year has already been put into doubt by Lefevere and, despite the fact that he's still experiencing knee pain, he wants to take the start in La Doyenne to give himself one last chance to impress this spring.

"It must indeed have been a solid thud, because if I put full force on the pedals, I I still feel it [the pain]. I realize that I will no longer have the condition I had [for Flanders and Roubiax] in Liège-Bastogne-Liège since I have been riding easy. However, I want to ride that last spring Classic," he continued.

At the time of his injury Devolder wasn't too concerned about riding in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but after a dismal spring thus far, he wasn't forthcoming with any ambitions for this year's final spring Classic.

Devolder said earlier this year that he intended to skip the Tour de France after struggling in the previous two editions, although without any Classics success to back him up the decision may not be his to take.

"It is too early to say anything definitive about [whether he will ride], but basically during the Tour de France I would looking to win stages," he added.

Following this weekend's race Devolder said he will take a short break and get back to racing on May 5th at the Four Days of Dunkirk.  He is then scheduled to ride the Tours of Belgium and Switzerland.  His next big target will be the Belgian national championships, where he will try to win another title.  He was the Belgian champion on the road in 2007 and in the time trial in 2008.


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