Kroon's virtual podium

Team CSC's Karsten Kroon came very close to making the break with Tom Boonen and Leif Hoste on the...

Team CSC's Karsten Kroon came very close to making the break with Tom Boonen and Leif Hoste on the Valkenberg in Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen, but the Dutch rider couldn't quite bridge the gap. "I was really close to making it and that would probably have meant a podium spot," he said on team-csc.com. "When Boonen opened up right after the climb there were strong headwinds and it seemed like they had an advantage because of the motor bikes in front of them. I exploded and didn't have that last bit left in my legs to bridge up. It was a big shame because the whole thing had worked out perfectly for us up until then and I felt very strong. I would have liked to sit up front with Boonen and Hoste, but it wasn't meant to be this time. I choose to look at it from a positive angle though, and I'm very motivated for the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, both of which suit me better than the Tour of Flanders.

Fabian Cancellara commented, "This time last year I wasn't as strong as I am now, and that makes me feel secure in relation to the next two races on the cobblestones. The most important thing for me right now is Paris-Roubaix, where I would really like to make a top result. The legs are there, but you also need a bit of luck. Of course I'll try to play a major part in Roubaix even though it's a tough race where anything can happen. Today the race was decided early on and that means only the strongest are able to sit up front. Hopefully the same thing will happen on Sunday, which would definitely be to our advantage."

Finally, team CSC's sports director Scott Sunderland summed up his team's performance: "We did well and it could have amounted to a very big result if Karsten had made it when Hoste and Boonen escaped. Once again Boonen was in a league of his own, and there's no doubt he was the strongest out there today. We were positioned right where we should be and as expected it turned out to be a tough race. I think we confirmed the optimism we had regarding our performance and we did manage to influence the race a bit. After having seen Cancellara today, we should definitely be feeling positive about a big result in Paris-Roubaix."

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