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Gallery: NetApp-Endura recons Omloop Het Nieuwsbald course

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Team NetApp-Endura trains for the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald

Team NetApp-Endura trains for the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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The NetApp-Endura team car leads its riders on a course recon

The NetApp-Endura team car leads its riders on a course recon
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Team NetApp-Endura trains for the Classics

Team NetApp-Endura trains for the Classics
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Team NetApp-Endura recons the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald course.

Team NetApp-Endura recons the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald course.
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Omloop Het Nieuwsbald recon time. It's handy to know about the cobbles before the start.

Omloop Het Nieuwsbald recon time. It's handy to know about the cobbles before the start.
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Team NetApp-Endura

Team NetApp-Endura
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Team NetApp-Endura on the cobbles

Team NetApp-Endura on the cobbles
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Team NetApp-Endura stops for a break during recon of the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald

Team NetApp-Endura stops for a break during recon of the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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NetApp-Endura riders train

NetApp-Endura riders train
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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NetApp-Endura riders on the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald course

NetApp-Endura riders on the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald course
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Team NetApp-Endura has changed its preparation for the Classics

Team NetApp-Endura has changed its preparation for the Classics
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Team NetApp-Endura chats

Team NetApp-Endura chats
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Team NetApp-Endura on a training ride in Belgium

Team NetApp-Endura on a training ride in Belgium
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Team NetApp-Endura preps for the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald

Team NetApp-Endura preps for the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Team NetApp-Endura out on course for the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald

Team NetApp-Endura out on course for the Omloop Het Nieuwsbald
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Team NetApp-Endura riders will be very familiar with the course prior to Omloop Het Nieuwsbald

Team NetApp-Endura riders will be very familiar with the course prior to Omloop Het Nieuwsbald
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)
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Team NetApp-Endura bikes all ready for Omloop Het Nieuwsbald this weekend

Team NetApp-Endura bikes all ready for Omloop Het Nieuwsbald this weekend
(Image credit: Team NetApp-Endura)

Team NetApp-Endura will start its Classics season with two Belgian races: Omloop Het Nieuwsbald on Saturday and Le Samyn next Wednesday.

The Omloop Het Niewsbald covers 200km, starting and ending Gent. To date, the race has been a challenge for NetApp. So for 2013, the team was beefed up specifically for the Classics. It has also been preparing in a new way with the recent races in Qatar and Oman.

"Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is a very difficult race and demands very close attention on our part. We've added riders to our squad of Classics specialists, who should be well suited for this type of race. Nevertheless, the cobblestone sections and climbs that riders must face in some races like the Tour of Flanders should not be underestimated," said Jens Heppner.

"To prepare as best as we possibly can, we took a very close look at the route yesterday and specifically trained there. Familiarity with the route can be decisive in this type of race," Heppner said.

Le Samyn will happen on February 27, starting in the Belgian town of Frameries and ending 110km later in the nearby town of Dour. Five local circuits must be completed at the destination, making the entire route 192 kilometers.

"Last year the race ended in a mass sprint, which is also likely to happen this year. To date we've been able to make quite a good case for ourselves in this race. This year we also hope to ride to a good result," Heppner said.

Team NetApp for Omloop Het Nieuwsbald: Russell Downing, Zak Dempster, Markus Eichler, Blaz Jarc, Ralf Matzka, Erick Rowsell, Andreas Schillinger, Paul Voß

Team NetApp for Le Samyn: Blaz Jarc, Roger Kluge, Johnny McEvoy, Erick Rowsell, Michael Schwarzmann, Scott Thwaites, Paul Voß, Alex Wetterhall