Cervelo TestTeam is sending squads to this weekend’s cobbled races, the men’s and women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday and the men’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday.
At Omloop, defending champion Thor Hushovd will lead a team that includes Andreas Klier (who was seventh last year) and Henrich Haussler, who was eighth in 2009.
“The season is finally here. For us, this team is really built for these kind of classic races,” said Jean-Paul van Poppel, the team’s sport director. “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.”
The women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is held Saturday on a course that is about 79km shorter than the men’s.
“We certainly have a chance to win this with Kirsten Wild after her victory in Qatar, but it will not be easy,” said Egon van Kessel,the women’s team director. “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 now riding for us. And that’s all we want to say, we will rely on our own strength and stay focused.”
On Sunday, Cervelo will line up at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne with a slightly different team than Saturday. But the squad will still include what the team calls its ‘4-H core:’ Haussler, Hushovd, Roger Hammond and Jeremy Hunt. For Sunday, Dominique Rollin and Brett Lancaster will replace Daniel Lloyd and Martin Reimer.
Cervelo TestTeam for the Women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: Emilie Aubry, Regina Bruins, Sarah Düster, Lieselot Decroix, Mirjam Melchers, Patricia Schwager, Iris Slappendel, Kirsten Wild.
Cervelo TestTeam for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: Roger Hammond, Heinrich Haussler, Jeremy Hunt, Thor Hushovd, Daniel Lloyd, Andreas Klier, Gabriel Rasch, Martin Reimer
Cervelo TestTeam for Kuurne-Brusells-Kuurne: Roger Hammond, Heinrich Haussler, Jeremy Hunt, Thor Hushovd, Brett Lancaster, Andreas Klier, Gabriel Rasch, Dominique Rollin. Director: Jens Zemke