Dekker to ride Gent-Wevelgem

Erik Dekker will ride Wednesday's Gent-Wevelgem after originally declaring he wouldn't ride the mid-week classic. "Dekker is a surplus asset for the team in these types of races," team leader Frans Maassen had originally said, but things seem to have changed with Dekker expressing his desire to race during the week. Dekker finished 22nd in Sunday's Ronde Van Vlaanderen, and asked to be included in the team for the next Belgian classic. According to Maassen, Dekker will be used to assist Juan Antonio Flecha as he tries to take the win after last year's disappointing second-place finish in controversial circumstances.

Rabobank's squad for Gent-Wevelgem will now be the same as that for the Tour of Flanders. This is surprising because as well as Dekker, Jan Boven, Marc Wauters and Joost Posthuma weren't in the original selection squad for the mid-week classic either, but now find themselves competing. Massen explained the problem was that young riders such as Marc de Maar and Niels Scheuneman, who had hoped to ride on Wednesday, will now miss out.

As reported last week, Spaniard Oscar Freire will miss the cobbled classics due to his ongoing recovery from injuries sustained last season, and is riding the Vuelta a Pais Vasco, while Thorwald Veneberg and Jukka Vastaranta are recovering from injuries.

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