Maaskant hungry for the classics
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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Maaskant hungry for the classics

by VeloNation Press at 2:50 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
 

Team Garmin-Slipstream rider Martijn Maaskant, now competing in the Tour of Qatar, has big plans for 2009.

The 25-year-old Dutchman was somewhat of a revelation in Paris-Roubaix last year finishing an amazing fourth place as a first timer - a result he would like to improve on. "I'll try for a win. I am not saying that I am going to win the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix, but will I certainly go for a podium place. These classics for me are the most important races of the year," he told sportweek.nl.

Coming off a win in the Tour of Qatar's team time trial he said his winter preparation has been good. "It's nice to get confirmation after a winter of training, you have to ask yourself: how am I going?" Actions speak louder than words, and having that "first win" under his belt will help ease his mind.

The "under 25" crowd has been showing they have what it takes to break through on the cobbled classics in recent years with Fabian Cancellara winning Roubaix 2006 and Tom Boonen doing the Roubaix/Flanders double in 2005. It looks like Maaskant could be on a similar path, having former 2004 Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt among his ranks to show the way will certainly help his cause.

The wildcard on the team would have to be Canadian strong man Svein Tuft.  His incredible performance in Beijing last year catapulted him into the big leagues of the ProTour.  Having his roots in the North American racing scene made him a known entity for the American-based team.

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