HAMMOND: AIMING FOR TOP FORM ON SUNDAY
Britain’s top Classics specialist, Roger Hammond, says he hopes he will be in top condition on Sunday. The T-Mobile pro has recovered from a cold he suffered in the previous week and is now ready to go on Sunday.
Speaking to CW’s website, Hammond said he was “going well, better than a few days ago. My underlying condition was and is good, but being ill set me back a bit on the top-end form.”
Hammond and his T-Mobile team-mates rode the last 70 kilometres of Flanders on Friday morning. The Briton reported that they “had a good look” at the new climb, the Eikenmolen introduced close to the Tenbosse, and that “it wasn’t really so important. It’s replaced a small unclassified climb that was there already. At least it isn’t as hard as the Koppenberg!” - eliminated from this year’s event - Hammond joked.
Hammond says his team will have two leaders for Flanders, the young revelation of the Spring Classics this season, Marcus Burghardt, and Luxemberg National Champion Kim Kirchen, who recently took third in the Fleche Brabanconne.
“It’s clear from the rides they’ve been doing recently they’re the ones most in form in T-Mobile.” Another Classics specialist in the squad, Andreas Klier, who crashed in a training accident 10 days ago, “will have to see how he’s going. He hasn’t raced as much as he’d have liked to because of the crash.”
Hammond says he agrees with Tom Boonen’s claim that the good weather “will make for a much more tactical race.” “There will be a lot more favourites together later on.” Hammond said.
Today [Saturday] Hammond and his T-Mobile team-mates will do just a “couple of hours easy riding, to turn the legs over.” On Sunday, it’ll be a very different story.