HUNT, HAMMOND, AND DFL TO RIDE GHENT-WEVELGEM
Jeremy Hunt (Unibet.com) is to return to racing this Wednesday in Ghent-Wevelgem. The Devonian was unable to take part in the Tour of Flanders because of injuries.
“It’s not going to be easy because I haven’t raced much recently.” Hunt told CW, “but I’ll give it a go. I’m feeling better, and have been training ok recently, so we’ll just have to see.”
Roger Hammond (T-Mobile) and the British DFL squad are also down to take part in the 208 kilometre Classic, which will feature - as usual - a double assault on the Kemmelberg climb. Both the steep ascent and the lethal descent tend to shape the race and split up the bunch. The continuing good weather in Belgium with virtually no wind means it is more likely that a big group of riders reach the Kemmelberg together, and that like Flanders, this year’s Ghent-Wevelgem will be a fast race.
Then in the final 40 kilometre run-in to Wevelgem, any breakaways will have organise themselves quickly in order to keep the sprinters teams at bay.
Tom Boonen (Quick Step) will use Ghent-Wevelgem, which he won back in 2004, to see if he has recovered well from his crash in Flanders. Boonen injured his knees and one of his wrists when he crashed early on last Sunday. The big favourite for Flanders, he finally finished twelfth.
Other star names taking part include Alessandro Petacchi (Milram), who finished third last year behind Norwegian Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole). But neither Leif Hoste (Predictor-Lotto) nor Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) will be present.