Hondo, who finished in the top 20 last year and 9th in 2010, is aware of the harder route in this year’s race but is using the Three Days of De Panne to hone his form for the upcoming Classic.
Hondo has had a colourful career. The 38-year-old begun racing on the track in the early 1990s, picking up world championship medals including a gold at the track worlds in the team pursuit in 1994.
In 1997 he turned professional with the Argo team before moving to the Telekom squad where he spent six seasons. Despite winning two stages at the Giro he struggled to progress under the shadow of Erik Zabel. Whilst with Team Gerolsteiner, he failed a drugs test in 2005 and moved in various directions - including four teams in four years - before landing on his feet at Lampre. In the last three year, as his legs have slowed, he has devoted much of his efforts to leading out Alessandro Petacchi, while also returning to his roots in track racing during the winter.
In this exclusive video for Cyclingnews Hondo talks about his Flanders hopes and his dream of racing at the London 2012 Olympics.