Rabobank, Garmin-Barracuda, Topsport Vlaanderen on the new route
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With a new finish to the Tour of Flanders, reconnaissance of the course is more important than ever, and today most of the contenders and their teams were out to scout the new route. Tom Boonen and his Omega Pharma-Quickstep team led the way on the climbs which will be critical to success: the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, as well as the Koppenberg, Molenberg and Taaienberg.
Also spotted on the course were the Garmin-Barracuda and Rabobank teams, with last year's Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren gliding up the cobbled ascents, and Lars Boom testing himself on the bergs.
Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator brings its young Belgians to the course this year, with Jelle Wallays getting a second look at some of the climbs after putting in fine performances in the Dwars door Vlaanderen along many of the same roads.
The women will also contest their Tour of Flanders on April 1, and spotted on the course today were Carmen Small and Kristin Armstrong of the US National Team and Swede Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-Mistral Home).
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