Liège-Bastogne-Liège: HTC-Columbia confident in Tony Martin
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Liège-Bastogne-Liège: HTC-Columbia confident in Tony Martin

by VeloNation Press at 1:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège
 

Tony MartinThe American HTC-Columbia team will be hanging its hopes in Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Tony Martin this Sunday.  The German has had a rough start to the season after having trouble with his knee, but the team is confident he will be entering the last spring Classic in top form.

"Tony's had a difficult start to the season with a knee injury that's kept him out of the running, but he's finally come through and should be able to do a good ride on Sunday," said HTC-Columbia sports director Valerio Piva.

Martin rode well this past Wednesday, and will go into La Doyenne with good morale.

"He did well in Flèche Wallonne, going on the attack on the second last climb, and in Liège we'll try a similar tactic of playing our cards before the top favourites make their moves.  Apart from Tony, Maxime Monfort's always motivated for this race, which is his home event, and Michael Albasini and Peter Velits are in good shape as well."

Race organizers, the Amaury Sports Organization, have made some changes in this year's edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and with them will come an adjustment in the tactics.

"Removing the Haut Levée will make it more difficult for a group to get away before La Redoute, which remains the most important climb of the race. Staying in front for that part of the race will become even more important," he added.

Now that it's later in the spring, Piva also thinks that some riders could be caught out by the temperatures.

"We're expecting very warm weather for Sunday, and the heat could cause serious problems for the riders in the last part of the course if they don't remember to keep eating and drinking to keep their strength up.  That could be another important factor and it will probably make the race much more unpredictable and harder to control. As for HTC-Columbia, we'll be ready to grab every opportunity we can to give our opponents a hard time."

HTC-Columbia for Liege-Bastogne-Liege:
Michael Albasini (Swi); Tejay Van Garderen (USA); Rasmus Guldhammer (Den); Craig Lewis (USA); Tony Martin (Ger); Maxime Monfort (Bel); Martin Velits (Svk); Peter Velits (Svk).

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