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No pressure for Hoste

Silence-Lotto has the last Belgian winner of Driedaagse de Panne on its roster in Leif Hoste, but the ProTour team is placing no pressure on its team leader to perform. The Driedaagse de Panne is traditionally the last chance for riders who are targeting the Tour of Flanders to hone their form before the big day.

"We have the following two Sundays for that," said Silence-Lotto sports director Herman Frison to "I would prefer to have Leif on the highest step this Sunday in Meerbeke, than now in de Panne.

"We should not put everything on Hoste in de Panne," he added.

Frison is relying on the other strong riders on the Silence-Lotto roster to perform well in the race. "With McEwen and Van Avermaet, we have other aces in our hand," he said. "Also Gorik Gardeyn is on antibiotics, but he is ready and that is but three of our rider," he said referring to the number of quality riders on their roster.

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