Cervelo TestTeams Ready for the 2010 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne
Cervelo TestTeam's men and women are ready for powerful action on the nasty and tough Belgian cobbles.
The 2010 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad opens the spring classics season for both Cervelo TestTeam's men and women this coming Saturday in Belgium. It's the opening event on the Belgian cycling calendar and is usually held on the last Saturday in February or the first in March. The race is usually characterized by cold weather and short cobbled climbs and comes as quite a contrast to the January and February training camps in sunny Southern Europe - not to mention the desert conditions of Qatar and Oman. The Omloop, with the start and finish in Ghent, takes advantage of many of the same climbs that are part of the famous Tour of Flanders classic (Ronde van Vlaanderen).
Cervelo TestTeam's Norwegian God of Thunder Thor Hushovd won the 2009 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the men's team is ready to defend the title this weekend in the 2010 edition. In fact the team even had two other riders finish in last year's top ten. Germany's Andreas Klier placed seventh and Heinrich Haussler eighth - so the team is focused on obtaining a strong result again this year.
On Sunday, February 28th there are two more races waiting for the legs that are part of the Cervelo men's team. Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is an annual one-day road race in Belgium, traditionally ridden on the day following the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. This will be the 65th edition of the race, which since 2005 has been a category 1.1 event on the UCI Europe Tour. The 6-man core of Haussler, Hushovd, Roger Hammond (GBR), Jeremy Hunt (GBR), Andreas Klier and Gabriel Rasch (NOR) from Cervelo TestTeam's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad roster remains intact for the 2010 Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne race and will be supported by Canadian Dominique Rollin and Australian powerhouse Brett Lancaster.
"The season is finally here. For us, this team is really built for these kind of classic races," Cervelo TestTeam sports director Jean-Paul van Poppel commented earlier today. "We know we can perform well, we did it last year and were one of the favorite teams. Now they know us and they know we have the right riders, the right people around us so not much has changed there. This year we have some younger riders who will get good experience and make us stronger. We have a fantastic team, just let it begin."
Cervelo TestTeam's fabulous and energetic women will tackle the cobbles of the 2010 Women's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with their second overall win in Tour of Qatar as fresh memory in their legs. The women will ride a tough course that's about 79 kilometer shorter than the men's.
Cervelo TestTeam's roster for the 2010 Women's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad sports Mirjam Melchers (NED), Kirsten Wild (NED), Sarah Düster (GER), Emilie Aubry (SUI), Iris Slappendel (NED), Regina Bruins (NED), Patricia Schwager (SUI), and Lieselot Decroix (BEL).
"We certainly have a chance to win this with Kirsten Wild (NED) after her victory in Qatar, but it will not be easy," Women's sports director Egon van Kessel analyzed earlier. "The other teams will be ready for us and will do anything to avoid a sprint with her. We have all our tactics in place for Saturday and we also have the advantage of the very experienced Mirjam Melchers (NED) now riding for us. And that's all we want to say, we will rely on our own strength and stay focused."