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No Nokere for Eichler, but finally ProTour races

By Brecht Decaluwé in Kuurne

In the hippodrome in Kuurne Cyclingnews talked with Milram's Markus Eichler. The German talent joined the team after a short spell at the troubled Swedish squad Unibet during the 2007 season. "It's a shame what happened with the Unibet team," Eichler said. "I had a contract for three years with Unibet and the future was looking bright. It wasn't too be, and we all had to search for another team this year. I'm happy that I found a team," Eichler expressed his relief. "I've got a contract for one year, so hopefully I can have a good season to ensure my future in cycling."

The German rider is used to riding in the Flemish races and especially the Nokere Koerse one-day event held mid March, a race that suits him very well. "Not this year though, it's not in our program," Eichler said. "But with Paris-Nice, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and so on I can't complain about my program, it looks great." It will be the first year that Eichler will be able to ride in the biggest races after the invitation problems Unibet encountered last year.

On Saturday, Eichler rode to 14th place in Het Volk and was the first rider behind the main group that battled for victory. He rode away from the peloton in the final stretches into Gent. "Better wasn't possible. I have a cold, and even if I would've made it into the breakaway I would've had a chance," Eichler admitted. "My form is good though and I'm looking forward to the upcoming races."

In Kuurne, Eichler had a rough day in the wind and eventually claimed 32nd spot, finishing in the first peloton behind the breakaway group that sprinted for 22th place.

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