Discovery Channel Team Report

News & Results

04/1/2006| 0 comments
by P.J. Rabice
Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.
Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.

Discovery Channel Team Report

The Discovery Channel riders have continued to show their strength over the past two weeks of racing.



Welcome to

The countryside of Northern Belgium and
is truly a special place and it will play host to three of the biggest races of the season over the next week- Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem & Paris-Roubaix.   The weather here is more unpredictable than anything I have ever seen living in the northeast, specifically Lake Placid, NY, where the weather drove me crazy at times.   In
, one minute it?s sunny and the next there?s driving rain and 30mph wind. And when you combine weather like that with really narrow roads, climbs of 10+% on cobble stones that are over 200 years old, well, what you have is a very long day of bike racing known as the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders).   Luckily for us, the Discovery Channel Team has guys like Hincapie, Hoste, Devolder, Hammond, Ekimov, Barry, White, and Gusev who seem to love races like
Flanders or at least pretend to love it.   These ?tough? guys will lead the team into battle this Sunday at the Tour of Flanders and are feeling very confident about their form.  


In a major Belgian newspaper this morning the headline read ?Discovery Is Stronger Than Quickstep?, a quote from Leif Hoste after winning the Three Days of DePanne.   For those of you not in the know, Quickstep is the team of World Champion Tom Boonen who has shown amazing strength and form this season winning seemingly any race at will.   After Hoste took some gentle ribbing at breakfast from staff and teammates about the quote he proclaimed, ?Well, we are stronger?, a point which no one in the room seemed to refute and brought about a short silence.   This to me was the sign of a confident, but not cocky, group of riders.   A lot of things can happen over the course of a 6 hour bike race and these guys know it, but their relaxed attitude and gaunt faces, are a very good sign.  


Who Needs Rest?

So what do a group of guys do after four hard days of racing?   Well, this group of guys enjoyed a relaxing breakfast, sipped on coffee and applied an extra layer of nutella to their morning bread before getting ready for their 10:30am ride.   The morning?s ride was an easy spin along the canal for some, with others opting for the rollers due to, you guessed it, some sudden rain that rolled into
. The rain however didn?t dampen the guy?s spirit as you can see from this picture taken just prior to the ride.   For the record, I don?t ever recall seeing Matt White (left) without a smile.   



After their ride the guys enjoyed some lunch and a visit from Sports Director Johan Bruyneel who was in town for some meetings. Following a few good laughs the guys headed for massage and some rest, or as George Hincapie told me, ?I?m going to rest my way to fitness? followed

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