Team Milram Confident About Belgian Classics
Team Milram has been enjoying a positive season so far and is looking forward to the Belgian Spring races with confidence. The German pro-cycling team has signed up new riders and carries a lot of momentum from its Australian and Arabian events this season.
Team Milram has signed up an additional four cyclists to its roster, specifically in preparation for the Spring races which will include the 2010 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the 2010 Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne events. Among the four newcomers are Roy Sentjens and Wim De Vocht, both established experts of the cobblestone races in Belgium.
Ralf Grabsch, a sports director in Team Milram, says that their goal will be to earn top-ten finishes in the two events, more specifically in the top six, at least. Grabsch is looking to specialist Servais Knaven to lead the team in these races. The rider has the winning form and experience on the cobblestones that Team Milram needs, with him winning third place overall in the 2000 season. Grabsch himself says that Knaven “will lead us with his experience. He… knows every cobblestone passage along the way.”
It seems that not only Servais Knaven but the entire Classics squad are enjoying the team’s confidence in their success at the races. Grabsch says that Milram’s lineup for the upcoming Belgian Classics are all healthy and fit, and that he is convinced of the “quality” of their riders.
As confident as Grabsch is, he will have to do without the services of Gerald Ciolek, one of their star sprinters. Ciolek was expected to lead Team Milram to the top rankings this spring, but unfortunately crashed in this season’s Tour of Qatar and is currently recovering after having to undergo shoulder surgery.
The rest of the squad have shown that they are capable of taking Team Milram to high places, however. According to Grabsch, “Our guys have brought in three Top Ten finishes so far,” which refers to the team’s finishes in previous events this season. The 2010 Tour of Oman saw Milram rider Niki Terpstra finish 6th overall, while Roger Kluge earned 4th overall at the 2010 Tour of Qatar, and Luke Roberts getting 5th overall in the Tour Down Under.
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