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Team High Road for Amstel

HIGH ROAD FOCUSES ON KIRCHEN FOR AMSTEL The Netherlands, 17 April 2008 - High Road will be focusing on giving their Luxembourg-born rider Kim Kirchen as good a chance as possible in the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. Seventh in the Tour of the Basque Country and the winner of two stages, team manager Rolf Aldag says Kirchen - who has regularly placed well in the past in the Ardennes Classics - has more than justified his role as High Road team leader in Holland’s biggest one-day race. “He’s our man for Amstel.” Aldag says.

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HIGH ROAD FOCUSES ON KIRCHEN FOR AMSTEL

The Netherlands, 17 April 2008 – High Road will be focusing on giving their Luxembourg-born rider Kim Kirchen as good a chance as possible in the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. Seventh in the Tour of the Basque Country and the winner of two stages, team manager Rolf Aldag says Kirchen – who has regularly placed well in the past in the Ardennes Classics – has more than justified his role as High Road team leader in Holland’s biggest one-day race.
“He’s our man for Amstel.” Aldag says.
“Edvald Boasson Hagen, Morris [Possoni], Adam [Hansen] and Tony [Martin] have amply proved in this past month that they are up to the job of handling the breaks beforehand. But when it comes to the final, our real card to play will be Kim. He did a brilliant performance in the Tour of the Basque Country, and deserves some good support in Holland.”
Experience is a key factor to success in Amstel, and Aldag believes this is even more of a reason for the team to be behind one leader.

“It’s a race you have to really know in order to do really well in it. It’s got narrow lanes, a challenging race route and climbs you maybe didn’t expect popping up left right and center.”
ProTour leader Andre Greipel will not be taking part after missing out on Ghent-Wevelgem because of illness. High Road’s sprinter will be heading for the Tour of Georgia instead.

“There were some confusing internet reports about Andrei but he is back and in good shape.” Aldag added.

“The only thing is that Amstel really doesn’t suit Andre. He’s a pure sprinter, not made for climbs like in Amstel. UCI regulations allow that ProTour leaders don’t have to show up for every ProTour race and we’re taking advantage of that.”

Aldag named Spain’s Alejandro Valverde and the Gerolsteiner squad in general as important contenders at Amstel.

“Gerolsteiner always do well there, and Valverde’s shown recently he’s got the form to put in a good ride in Holland. No Paolo Bettini [the World Champion was injured in the Basque Coutnry] means one rival less to worry about, but at the same time, a much more wide open race.”

High Road for Amstel Gold: Michael Barry (Can); Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor); Gerald Ciolek (Ger); Adam Hansen (Aus); Kim Kirchen (Lux); Andreas Klier (Ger); Tony Martin (Ger); Morris Possoni (Ita).

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