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Milram recons the Ronde

Team Milram has reconnoitred part of the Tour of Flanders, training between the Kwaremont and Muur van Geraardsbergen on Thursday. A day after abandoning Dwars door Vlaanderen, Alessandro Petacchi analysed his chances for the Ronde. "This is the third time that I've come to the Tour of Flanders," he said. "The first time was in 1997 and the second time was 2002, I retired in both races. I know that it is surely not many for someone who has a goal to do well in this race.

"I know that I need a particular spirit for this race. I surely won't start to win, but I want to do it for the experience to complete my professional skills."

Erik Zabel was more optimistic, saying, "The Tour of Flanders is a beautiful race. I was fourth last year and I hope to do better in 2006 in the Milram jersey. This race is different from all the other races: It needs a different mental approach. I think we can do well."

Milram's team manager Gianluigi Stanga summed it up: "The Tour of Flanders is one of the most beautiful races in the world and a ProTour appointment. So we, of Team Milram, start with the aim of doing well. We know that it will be very difficult, but we have to try. We have Zabel, fourth last year, and Petacchi. Alessandro’s form is good but it isn’t enough for this race. In this race, you need a particular mental approach. I think it’s very important for his experience. We’ll see..."

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