Bernhard Eisel and Team HTC-Columbia Ready for 2010 Tour of Flanders
2010 Gent-Wevelgem winner Bernhard Eisel says he is heading for the Tour of Flanders in Belgium on Sunday in top shape and fully focussed on battling for another great result.
2010 Ghent-Wevelgem winner Bernhard Eisel says he is heading for the Tour of Flanders in Belgium on Sunday in top shape and fully focussed on battling for another great result.
"I'm still an underdog compared to some of the very biggest names on Sunday, but the plan is to go for the victory. I've got good form, and this is a period of racing I've worked toward for the whole year. I deliberately didn't do the Three Days of De Panne stage race this week because I don't need any more races to get that top condition," Bernhard Eisel commented.
"Flanders has changed quite a lot in terms of the route, but I've ridden over it three times - some of it before the Het Nieuwsblad Classic - so I know what to expect. I've ridden Flanders seven times before, too, and this time it's a lot tougher at the end. There are more cobbled sections at the end and there's less time for recovery between climbs. In many ways it'll be going back to the old Tour of Flanders routes. If it's as windy as it is now [Friday], then it'll become very unpredictable. The only thing for sure is it won't be a bunch sprint and it'll be exciting to watch," Eisel added.
"Eisel won in Ghent-Wevelgem and of all the team, he has the most realistic chance of winning in Flanders. He's really focussed, he's shown he's got great form, and we will try and bring him to the crucial final kilometres in the best position possible. For him, winning Ghent-Wevelgem was a big step up. He's always been very generous when it comes to working for the team, but now he can smell those wins for himself, too. He's growing into a new role, but we're sure he's got the confidence to handle himself well. Flanders is a very tough race, but there's no doubt HTC-Columbia has a very motivated squad for this event," HTC-Columbia sports director Tristan Hoffman commented.
The Tour of Flanders 2010 also sees Mark Cavendish take part in the Belgian Classic for the first time in his career. "He'll have a free role within the team's bigger game plan. He'll be working for Bernie and be learning about Flanders as well," Hoffman added.
Team HTC-Columbia roster for the 2010 Tour of Flanders:
Lars Bak (Denmark), Mark Cavendish (GB), Bernhard Eisel (Aut), Matt Goss (Aus), Vicente Reynes (Spa), Hayden Roulston (NZ), Marcel Sieberg (Ger), Martin Velits (Svk).