Team kicks off Classics season with Omloop and Le Samyn
Team NetApp-Endura will start its Classics season with two Belgian races: Omloop Het Nieuwsbald on Saturday and Le Samyn next Wednesday.
The Omloop Het Niewsbald covers 200km, starting and ending Gent. To date, the race has been a challenge for NetApp. So for 2013, the team was beefed up specifically for the Classics. It has also been preparing in a new way with the recent races in Qatar and Oman.
"Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is a very difficult race and demands very close attention on our part. We've added riders to our squad of Classics specialists, who should be well suited for this type of race. Nevertheless, the cobblestone sections and climbs that riders must face in some races like the Tour of Flanders should not be underestimated," said Jens Heppner.
"To prepare as best as we possibly can, we took a very close look at the route yesterday and specifically trained there. Familiarity with the route can be decisive in this type of race," Heppner said.
Le Samyn will happen on February 27, starting in the Belgian town of Frameries and ending 110km later in the nearby town of Dour. Five local circuits must be completed at the destination, making the entire route 192 kilometers.
"Last year the race ended in a mass sprint, which is also likely to happen this year. To date we've been able to make quite a good case for ourselves in this race. This year we also hope to ride to a good result," Heppner said.
Team NetApp for Omloop Het Nieuwsbald: Russell Downing, Zak Dempster, Markus Eichler, Blaz Jarc, Ralf Matzka, Erick Rowsell, Andreas Schillinger, Paul Voß
Team NetApp for Le Samyn: Blaz Jarc, Roger Kluge, Johnny McEvoy, Erick Rowsell, Michael Schwarzmann, Scott Thwaites, Paul Voß, Alex Wetterhall