The T-Mobile Team are counting on a youthful mix of sprinters and classics specialists for Wednesday's Le Samyn race around the hilly Haut Pays region of Wallonia in Belgium. 33 year-old Briton Roger Hammond is the only exception and directeur sportif Jan Schaffrath will be looking to the classics veteran to lead T-Mobile's charge alongside Eric Baumann and Adam Hansen.
"Le Samyn is a challenging race. If it pans out like it usually does, then we should see a small breakaway group contest the finish," said Schaffrath. "Eric, Roger and Adam's performances in recent races have shown that they have the legs to ride at the front over this kind of terrain."
The leading trio will be supported by Scott Davis, Aaron Olson and Frantisek Rabon plus sprinters André Greipel and Mark Cavendish, both of whom are recovering from early season colds.
The 191.1km race sets off from Frameries, near the French-Belgian border, on Wednesday morning and finishes up with four laps of a 20.1km circuit in and around the town of Dour. A total of 22 teams including seven ProTour squads will be at the start with last year's winner Renaud Dion (Ag2r Prévoyance) and 2006 Het Volk winner Phillippe Gilbert (Française Des Jeux) among the favourites.