Team Garmin-Slipstream's Tyler Farrar is excited to open his Classics season with the Belgian Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday and the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday.
"Covering many of the same climbs and cobble sections as the Tour of Flanders later in the spring, they offer a good chance to test the legs and refresh our memories of the race courses," said Farrar on the team's web site www.slipstreamsports.com.
Farrar lives nearby and has a fondness for these races, which are run on roads very familiar to him. "They are some of the closest things I get to a 'hometown' race. In fact, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad starts and finishes only about one kilometer from my apartment in Gent."
Fresh off the at times rainy Tour of California last week, Farrar knows that the weather can sometimes play a role, especially if the cobblestones are wet. "Often the race can be won or lost on one wet section of cobblestones. This year it appears we will have somewhat of a reprieve as the forecast calls for dry and relatively warm conditions." However, this year the forecast is looking good, which may mean additional spectators.
Saying that everyone is riding strong, Farrar is predicting that Garmin-Slipstream will do well.