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Injuries will not keep Steegmans, Vaitkus from Belgian openers

By:
Cycling News
Published:
February 24, 2010, 20:14 GMT,
Updated:
February 26, 2010, 17:58 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, February 25, 2010
Race:
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Gert Steegmans (RadioShack)

Gert Steegmans (RadioShack)

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RadioShack announces its team for this weekend

Despite being injured in last week's Volta ao Algarve, RadioShack's Gert Steegmans and Tomas Vaitkus will take part in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne this weekend.

Both riders were in doubt of being able to race after being injured in Portugal last week. Steegmans suffered a concussion after crashing on his head on stage 3, but after serveral days of rest he was able to resume training at full strength today.

"Since Monday I have had no headaches. The nausea has disappeared too," said Steegmans. "The doctors advised me to wait an extra day and to stay in the dark to take no risks. Though – as everyone joked – I could not have a concussion because of a lack of brains in my head!

"The two training rides have convinced me that I am able to play a role in both weekend races. My good condition cannot be completely gone. The only thing that worries me a bit is the stiffness in my neck and upper leg but that is not the end of the world. I can deal with it."

Vaitkus injured his shoulder in a separate crash last week, but after having it immobilized for a few days he is still in some pain but is ready to risk a start.

"In Russia there is a saying: ‘One who doesn't take a risk, will not drink champagne'. So I will start," Vaitkus said. "In the past two-to-three days I have less pain, but it is still present. On the other hand, I was able to ride 180 kilometers today on the bike. I am confident of a better 2010 than 2009, certainly with less crashes anyway."

In last year's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Vaitkus was up in the front group at the final sprint but went down in a crash and broke a bone in his right elbow.

RadioShack for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne: Fumiyuki Beppu, Sam Bewley, Daryl Impey, Gregory Rast, Sébastien Rosseler, Bjorn Selander, Gert Steegmans and Tomas Vaitkus; Director: Dirk Demol

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