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RadioShack, Quick Step, Milram, Liquigas announce rosters for classics kick-off weekend

Gert Steegmans after colliding with a car.
Steegmans after colliding with a car at Algarve

RadioShack will bring Gert Steegmans and Tomas Vaitkus to this weekend’s cobbled races in Belgium, despite nasty crashes both riders took at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal last week.

RadioShack is among the teams that are announcing their rosters today for the races that kick off the classics season.

Steegmans suffered a concussion after his collision with a car on stage 3 and Vaitkus landed on his shoulder in a tumble on stage 1.

The team said Steegmas took three days rest before taking a 50km training ride on Tuesday, followed by a 6-hour ride on Wednesday.

“Since Monday I have had no headaches. The nausea has disappeared too,” said Steegmans. “The two training rides have convinced me that I am able to play a role in both weekend races. My good condition cannot be completely gone.  The only thing that worries me a bit is the stiffness in my neck and upper leg but that is not the end of the world.  I can deal with it.”

Vaitkus kept his shoulder immobilized for a few day. “In Russia there is a saying:  ‘One who doesn’t take a risk, will not drink champagne’.  So I will start,” Vaitkus said. “In the past two-to-three days I have less pain, but it is still present. On the other hand, I was able to ride 180 kilometers today on the bike. I am confident of a better 2010 than 2009, certainly with less crashes anyway.”

RadioShack for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne: Fumiyuki Beppu, Sam Bewley, Daryl Impey, Gregory Rast, Sébastien Rosseler, Bjorn Selander, Gert Steegmans & Tomas Vaitkus. Director: Dirk Demo.

Milram brings newcomers

Milram is lining up with four new riders this weekend, and the team says all of them were hired for the spring classics.

The newcomers are Belgians Roy Sentjens and Wim De Vocht, Australian Luke Roberts and Beijing Olympics silver medal winner Roger Kluge of Germany.

“Our goal is a place in the top six in both races,” said director Ralf Grabsch. “Servais Knaven (2001 Paris-Roubaix winner) will lead us with his experience.”

Milram will be without the services of Gerald Ciolek, who hurt his shoulder in a crash at the Tour of Qatar. The team will train on the Omloop course starting Thursday.

Team Milram for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne–Brussels-Kuurne: Wim de Vocht, Roger Kluge, Servais Knaven, Roy Sentjens, Björn Schröder, Niki Terpstra, Markus Eichler, Luke Roberts. Director: Ralf Grabsch.

Quick Step: Boonen for both

Quick Step has won two of the last three KBK races and leader Tom Boonen also has won the Omloop twice. The team will vary its roster slightly over the weekend, but Boonen will lead the team both days.

Quick Step for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Stijn Devolder, Kevin De Weert, Nikolas Maes, Kevin Hulsmans, Jurgen Van de Walle and Maarten Wynants. Director: Wilfried Peeters

Quick Step for Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne: Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Stijn Devolder, Kurt Hovelijnck, Iljo Keisse, Jurgen Van de Walle, Wouter Weylandt and Maarten Wynants. Director: Wilfried Peeters

Liquigas-Doimo brings Bennati

Liquigas-Doimo is bringing Manuel Quinziato and Daniele Bennati for the Belgium weekend. Quinziato was ninth last year at Paris-Roubaix and at Ghent-Wevelgem. Bennati won a stage of the Tour of Oman earlier this month. The team also will start neoprofessionals Krjstian Koren and Peter Sagan.

Liquigas-Doimo for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne: Daniele Bennati, Mauro Finetto, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato, Frederik Willems, Krjstian Koren and Peter Sagan. Director: Mario Scirea.

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