"This Omloop Het Volk will be a race for the bigger and stronger riders," said Hendrik Redant to Het Nieuwsblad after the Davitamon-Lotto team's reconnaissance on Wednesday. "For the last 60 kilometres, it is really twisting and turning. It will be hard to straighten things out that late in the race. If it stays this cold, with frost overnight, this race will be very hard.
"We have trained hard during the reconnaissance. Just on the roads towards Muziekbos and on the Pottelberg it was dangerous, with the ice and snow. But otherwise the parcours was ok to ride on. The last ten kilometres we got some powder snow. If the peloton gets this for half an hour on Saturday, it's a goner. Now only Steegmans came off, he has to ride on Sunday. He'll have to pay the chiropractor a visit but should be ok."
Peter Van Petegem didn't train with the rest of the team as he was in Holland, talking to a lawyer because former manager and friend Cees Priem is suing him for money from the 2001 season. Robbie McEwen rode with the team for three hours Wednesday after a six hour ride the previous day with a mixed group of team-mates and other pro riders.
According to the riders the race will be tougher than it was two years ago. The first half is hilly and thus the peloton will be more active. Towards Eikenberg the Omloop might break open even more. A sprint towards the eighth climb might be on the cards.