Stefan Wesemann will spearhead T-Mobile's team for Saturday's E3-Prijs Harelbeke, a race that is often a useful indicator of form for the following weekend's Tour of Flanders which Wesemann won in 2004. Wesemann will supported by a strong team of Classics specialists including Sergey Ivanov, 2000 E3-Prijs winner and Andreas Klier, seventh in 2004 and aiming to improve on that this year.
The 209km parcours includes 12 of the short, sharp climbs that feature in the Tour of Flanders: La Houppe, Berg Stene, Boigneberg, Eikenberg, Stationsberg, Taaienberg, Berg Ten Houte, Kapelberg, Paterberg, Kwaremont, Kluisberg, and Tiegemberg. "The race is a perfect warm-up for the tough spring classics in Belgium," said T-Mobile Team manager Walter Godefroot.
Klier in particular will be very motivated for the E3 as he lives in the area. "The race practically passes in front of his hall door," said T-Mobile press officer Luuc Eisenga.
Wesemann, Klier and Ivanov will be supported by Rolf Aldag, Bram Schmitz, André Korff, Stephan Schreck and Jan Schaffrath. But T-Mobile is unlikely to have things all its own way. "The other teams are taking this race equally seriously and sending strong rosters into action," said Eisenga, citing Peter van Petegem (Lotto), Jacob Piil (CSC) and 2004 winner Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) as serious contenders for the victory in Harelbeke.