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CSC are ready, says Sunderland

Team CSC's Australian sports director, Scott Sunderland, is in no doubt about his team's ability when the Tour of Flanders kicks off on 9.40am Sunday morning at Brugge's marketplace: "We are ready."

"We have a handful of riders on top form, and considering the previous cobblestone races, we know we're strong all round," Sunderland said in a team statement. "Of course, it appears that Tom Boonen is in a league of his own, and he'll probably be the rider everyone will be watching.

"We don't have any actual favourites, but we do have several potentials: Karsten Kroon, Marcus Ljungqvist, Kurt-Asle Arvesen and Fabian Cancellara are all in great shape right now, and they're very keen to sit up front on Sunday. I think our results lately justify a certain amount of optimism. In my opinion, we have a very real chance of a victory," he predicts.

In 258 kilometres, 17 cobbled climbs will be tackled with the Bosberg being the last, about 12 kilometres before the finish in Ninove-Meerbeke. Said Sunderland: "Anything can happen in a race like Tour of Flanders, but one thing is for sure: only the strong survive. The finish is very tough and it will definitely be a great race to watch.

"The route is identical to last year's and we know it well, because it's extremely important to know every single turn. We have been out training on some of the strategic spots to refresh our memory, and also to make sure the riders are familiar with the route. We've done absolutely everything in our power to be ready, so now we'll have to wait and see what happens on Sunday. Personally I think we'll go far."

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