Wegmann forms part of strong Leopard Trek team in Ardennes Classics
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wegmann forms part of strong Leopard Trek team in Ardennes Classics

by Bjorn Haake at 10:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
German hopes for own good result in Flèche Wallonne

fabian wegmannFabian Wegmann is riding for the Leopard-Trek team, which has to be one of the strongest teams for the Ardennes Classics. There are several riders on the roster with options for winning. Wegmann, who always rides well in these races, will be an important link to victory for Andy and Fränk Schleck, as well as Fabian Cancellara. But the German may also get his own chance to shine on the hilly roads in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Wegmann finished in the top ten in the midweek-Flèche already twice (2005 and 2007). "Personally, I think I have the best chances in Flèche Wallonne. For Amstel and Liège it will be hard to get all the way to the front, given the strong competition," he told Radsport News.

Wegmann not only faces outside competitors, but will also partially have to settle for a domestique role. "In both races the Schlecks are our captains, who already have won Liège [Andy] and the Amstel Gold Race [Fränk]. A victory in one of the three races is our goal once more."

Wegmann does not mind this luxury problem. "We have a top team - I don't think I ever rode in such a strong team. We don't have one candidate for victory, but three, four or five. Of course, you have to deliver it in the race, but I think we are in a very comfortable pre-race situation."

As was seen in the Critérium International and in some of the classics, Leopard Trek will once again look for an offensive racing style. "Because of our many options, we want to make the others work," Wegmann says. "Garmin showed in Roubaix how it can be done."

Wegmann himself has been in good form so far. "I came through the year without crash or illness," he says. He is looking forward to the Amstel race on Sunday, which should be held in dry and sunny conditions. "I don't mind the cold, but I can do without the rain."

Wegmann has not suffered bad luck like in previous years, where he broke a collarbone, had untimely crashes and was sick in crucial parts of his racing season. "Of course it is always nice to win, but for example my third place at the GP Indurain gave me a lot of confidence." The GP Indurain is a race that suits Wegmann very well. He won it in 2006 and 2008 and finished third in 2010 as well. "Overall I am happy with how the season went so far."

The former Gerolsteiner rider is optimistic for the remainder of the year. "The team is getting into form, but of course you need some time to find each other. We have to get used to some things, like in the sprints. But Daniele Bennati has shown lately that he is getting the momentum."

Wegmann doesn't fear a repeat of the classics, where Fabian Cancellara had no team helpers left in the decisive parts of the races. "Of course the other teams will look at us, like in Flanders and Roubaix, but I think we have a broader team and have more options."


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