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Driedaagse van De Panne presents course, teams

The Driedaagse van De Panne-Koksijde presented its route and line-up of teams on Thursday morning. The three-day race features two half-stages on the last day, as well as a 228 kilometre long second stage after the traditional 192 kilometre opener on Tuesday, April 1 from the casino in Middelkerke to Zottegem.

The marathon second stage from Zottegem to Koksijde was once again included at the request of riders wishing to log more training miles in advance of the spring classics. "We have not modified our concept," said race director Bernard Van De Kerckhove, according to belga. "At the request of various riders and team directors we have a long stage on the seocnd day. Many teams even train further after this stage in order to approach the 260 km of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, which is held the following Sunday."

Thursday features a 192 km half stage in the morning and a 13.7 km time trial in the afternoon, both of which start and finish in De Panne.

23 teams will take part, including 11 ProTour teams; Lampre, Rabobank, Astana, Liquigas, Saunier Duval, Quick Step, Milram, Silence-Lotto, Bouygues Telecom, Francaise des Jeux, and High Road. The remaining teams are Slipstream-Chipotle, Mitsubishi-Jartazi, Barloworld, Landbouwkrediet, Topsport Vlaanderen, Cycle-Collstrop, Elk Haus, Skil-Shimano, Tinkoff, PSK Whirlpool, Volksband, and Acqua & Sapone.

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