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High Road’s stage race specialist Kim Kirchen will be back in action in the Tour of the Basque
Country, which starts on Monday in Legazpi. The Luxemberg-born rider had to miss out on the E3 Harelbeke one-day race, and the Tour of Flanders because of illness, but will be back for the grueling six-day stage race in northern Spain.
“He’s a little bit behind where he should be form-wise because of falling ill, but his focus
remains very much on the Ardennes Classics.” team manager Rolf Aldag said.
“To that end, we decided Kim should have some high intensity racing in the Tour of the Basque
Country. It should bring him up to strength more quickly.”
According to Aldag, High Road’s principal objective in the Basque race will be “on the hunt for
stage wins, more than the general classification.”
“Having said that, if you’re in front in the stages, logically you’re up there on gc as well. We’ll
see how it goes.”
High Road have had their fair share of ill and injured riders in recent weeks, but Aldag says that
the team is gradually regaining their strength overall.
“Thomas [Lovkvist]has been ill but is on the way back up, too. He rode an excellent Tirreno-
Adriatico [third overall and best young rider], then got in a break in Milan – San Remo with
[World Champion] Paolo Bettini. His basic form remains good.”
Running from April 7th – 12th, Pais Vasco has four extremely hilly stages and finishes with a 20km time trial in the coastal town of Orio. With no summit finish, for the last two years
the final time trial has proved the key factor in deciding the overall winner.
High Road for the Vuelta al Pais Vasco:- Michael Barry (Can), John Devine (USA), Scott Davis
(Aus), Kim Kirchen (Lux), Thomas Lovkvist, (Swe), Marco Pinotti (ita), Morris Possoni (Ita),
Kanstanstin Sivtsov (Byl).