German T-Mobile is sending two cycling teams to Belgian Flèche Wallonne: the elite men and women's squads. At the 70th Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, April 19, the magenta men will amount to eight riders, while the ladies event will feature five cyclists.
The biggest challenge awaits the riders on the steep, 1300 m Mur de Huy, ("Wall of Huy"), with several sections steeper than 15 percent. "You have to dig deep in order not to get dropped there", said T-Mobile rider Matthias Kessler, who placed third in 2004. The men's roster will be led by Steffen Wesemann, runner-up at Amstel Gold race just two days ago. His teammates Patrik Sinkewitz (fifth) and Sergey Ivanov (tenth) also made a strong showing.
Kim Kirchen, who will join the squad at the Belgian Classic, has good memories of Flèche Wallonne: The Luxembourger was beaten only by Italian Danilo di Luca last year.
The women’s race, which will start and finish in Huy, will be 106 kilometres-long. World Cup leader Ina-Yoko Teutenberg will be trying to defend her points advantage against Miriam Melchers.
The T-Mobile rosters are:
Men: Scott Davis, Sergey Ivanov, Matthias Kessler, Kim Kirchen, Eddy Mazzoleni, Patrik Sinkewitz, Steffen Wesemann and Thomas Ziegler.
Women: Judith Arndt, Kimberly Baldwin, Christina Becker, Amy Moore and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg.