The CSC team will head into this weekend's E3 Prijs Vlaanderen and Brabantse Pijl with one thing in mind: honing its form and tactics for next weekend's Ronde Van Vlaanderen. With Milano-Sanremo winner Fabian Cancellara setting a high priority on Flanders and Paris-Roubaix the following week, he and his team will use the semi-classics as a dress rehearsal.
Cancellara took second place in last year's E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, but the squad has other riders with a strong chance at overthrowing E3 Prijs four-time champion Tom Boonen or three-time Brabantse Pijl winner Oscar Freire. Allan Johansen and Stuart O'Grady finished in the top ten in the 2007 E3 Prijs, while Karsten Kroon took a fifth place in the Brabantse Pijl.
"A lot of our guys and also riders from the other teams have Ronde van Vlaanderen as one of their major goals for the season, but of course we'll try for the best possible results this weekend also," said team director Scott Sunderland.
The team has been putting in some special training on the Ronde van Vlaanderen route this week in. "We did the final 100 kilometers of the route to prepare ourselves properly," said Sunderland. "It was about five or six degrees with both wind and rain so I guess we're prepared for the worst now. It went really well and the riders know what to expect next Sunday," he mused.
CSC for E3 Prijs and Brabantse Pijl: Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Lars Bak, Matti Breschel, Fabian Cancellara, Allan Johansen, Marcus Ljungqvist, Anders Lund, Stuart O'Grady