On special request from Erik Dekker, a number of members of the Rabobank team did extra training on the parcours of this year's Ronde Van Vlaanderen yesterday (Tuesday). According to De Telegraaf, the reigning Dutch champion does not want to be greeted with any unfamiliar surprises come April 3, where he hopes to improve on his second place behind Italian Gianluca Bortolami in 2001. "Flanders is the most beautiful [race]", said Dekker, "and many riders have the ability to win. For this reason, I will not say I can win next Sunday week."
"Small changes in the parcours have been introduced, and as a result, it is always good to fit in some extra training," said Rabobank directeur-sportif Frans Maassen. "And even for our boys who are not riding Flanders, such as Michael Boogerd and Thomas Dekker, it's always good to fit in some extra training to get some kilometres in the legs."