German rider Marcus Burghardt confirmed his status as young hopeful again this Saturday by finishing on the podium of the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen in Belgium, right behind top stars Tom Boonen (Quick-Step) and Fabian Cancellara (CSC). Together with the Belgian, the Swiss, and Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas), the 23 year-old broke clear of the bunch with 21 kilometres to go and held the pace until the end.
"The third place is a tremendous success for me," Burghardt said on t-mobile-team.com. "We stayed together until two kilometres to the line, then I tried to jump away and was in the unfortunate first position afterwards [for the sprint - ed.]."
Tactically, Burghardt learned form his experience in the Dwars door Vlaanderen race last week. "On Wednesday, I made the mistake of attacking too often," he explained after the finish. "Today, I rode more defensively and watched the favourites."
Directeur sportif Tristan Hoffman was very satisfied with his youngster. "Marcus did exactly the right thing and attacked once again in the finale," he said. "He couldn't get away, but he'll try again, and it'll work at some point."
Burghardt will train lightly during the week in view of his biggest goal, the Ronde van Vlaanderen next Sunday. "That was my last test for the Ronde. The tough preparation was worth it - I'm in top shape for the Tour of Flanders," he added.