Latest: Dwars door Vlaanderen; Deutschland Tour; Bertagnolli, Viganò, MSR28/03/2007
Today sees the 62nd running of Dwars door Vlaanderen, the next test for the classics specialists.
Also, time trial flavour for Deutschland Tour, Bertagnolli, Viganò out, and MSR figures.
PIC © TIM DE WAELE
Another classics test: Dwars door Vlaanderen
The 62nd edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen will be run today (Wednesday) over a 200km parcours, starting in Roeselare and finishing in Waregem. The Belgian semi-classic is the next race in the build up to the Ronde van Vlaanderen on April 8. It takes in several of the Ronde climbs: the Berendries, Valkenberg, Eikenberg, Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg and Knokteberg are all on the menu.
Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) will be one of the big names for the race, although he usually tends to back off in light of Saturday's E3 Prijs. Boonen will be riding a new bike, after suffering from back problems while on his team issue Specialized. Instead of a carbon frame, he will be riding an aluminium one.
T-Mobile's Roger Hammond is looking forward to the race, which goes over many of his local roads. "I am feeling really positive ahead of Wednesday," he said. "I now have a good few races behind me riding with the T-Mobile Team and there are a lot of aspects to Dwars door Vlaanderen that really suit me. It will be perfect preparation for the Tour of Flanders."
Hammond will be joined by classics specialists Marcus Burghardt and Servais Knaven as well as fellow Brit, Mark Cavendish. "Burghardt, Hammond and Knaven are in great form at the moment," said the team's sports director Tristan Hoffman. "The course, with its many cobbled sections, will suit them. Marcus has performed especially well here in recent years and I am hoping that he can be up at the front for the business-end of the race."
The team will miss Andreas Klier, who hit a tractor while training, breaking his cheekbone and suffering concussion.
Also on the injury list is David Kopp (Gerolsteiner). The German broke his nose in Saturday's Milan-San Remo, but he will still start in Dwars door Vlaanderen. His teammate Andrea Moletta will definitely not. Moletta was operated on in Italy yesterday after breaking his femur in Milan-San Remo, and will be out of action for at least three months.
Time trial flavour for Deutschland Tour
This year's Deutschland Tour (Tour of Germany) will for the first time include a team time trial, along with an individual event. The two tests against the clock will count for 82km in the nine day race, which starts in Saarbrücken on August 10th and finishes in Hannover on August 18th. One day after the finish, the Vattenfall Cyclassics will be held in Hamburg.
The D-Tour ventures into Austria between stages 5 and 7, including a mountaintop finish in Sölden at the end of stage 5. Stage 3 between Pforzheim and Offenburg is also a difficult one, entailing 3000m of climbing through the Black Forest. The 42km team time trial (stage 2) is in Bretten, while the 40km individual time trial (stage 8) is around Fürth.
Stage 1, August 10th: Saarbrücken - Saarbrücken (182.1 km)
Stage 2, August 11th: Bretten team time trial (42.2 km)
Stage 3, August 12th: Pforzheim - Offenburg (181.5 km)
Stage 4, August 13th: Singen - Sonthofen (184.2 km)
Stage 5, August 14th: Sonthofen - Sölden (Aut) (158.4 km)
Stage 6, August 15th: Längenfeld (Aut) - Kufstein (Aut) (191.9 km)
Stage 7, August 16th: Kufstein (Aut) - Regensburg (190.3 km)
Stage 8, August 17th: Fürth individual time trial (40 km)
Stage 9, August 18th: Einbeck - Hannover (152.8 km)
Shorts: Bertagnolli, Viganò, MSR figures
Leonardo Bertagnolli (Liquigas) will have to rest for a month after he was diagnosed with a virus at the end of the Tour of Mediterranean. The Italian underwent further tests that showed he had a cardiac arrhythmia. Exercising in such a state is considered quite dangerous. He will be re-assessed at the end of the month to determine whether he can resume his training.
Italian Davide Viganò has fractured his hand after crashing during training. The Quick.Step rider hit a van and broke the second metacarpus in his left hand, as well as tearing both his quadriceps. He will need to rest for 10 days before resuming training.
Italian TV figures from this year's Milan-San Remo showed it to be the most popular ever. A total of 3.2 million people watched it on TV, with an average of 2.014 million in two hours.
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