Rogers aims for Giro time trials, Plouay set to toughen up course for August race, Museeuw gives his
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Two-time world time trial champion Michael Rogers has confirmed that he will be taking part in the Giro d’Italia for the first time this season. His main objectives in the race will be the opening prologue in Seraing, Belgium, and the longer Pontedera time trial later in the race.
The new T-Mobile signing also fancies his prospects on some of the mountain stages, and could well receive the strongest of back-up in the shape of team leader Jan Ullrich, who still has the Giro on his schedule this season.
– The organisers of the Grand Prix Ouest France de Plouay have announced they are toughening up the circuit for the ProTour event that takes place on August 27. According to the Velo101 website, with sprint finishes becoming increasingly common in the event, the organisers are planning to add another hill to the long-standing Jean-Yves Perron circuit, increasing its distance by five kilometres to 19.75km. The inclusion of the Kerihuel climb means that three hills are tackled one after another, leaving little or no time for recuperation between them.
The organisers have always announced that 23 teams will take part in this year’s ProTour event – the 20 ProTour teams, plus wild card invitee Agritubel and two other teams that will gain selection through a series of qualifying races in Brittany: the Route Adlie, GP de Rennes, the Tour du Finistre, the Tro Bro Lon, the GP de Plumelec and Boucles de l’Aulne. The final two teams will be announced on June 1.
– Former world champion Johan Museeuw has given his backing and name to the Three Days of West Flanders event, which will now be known as the Johan Museeuw Classic. The race takes place on March 3-5 and generally draws all of the teams with serious aspirations in the spring Classics.
“The organisers can count on my help,” said Museeuw. “I know that they have big plans and I am behind them in that, even if it will not be easy to carry them out in the ProTour era.”
The three-stage event, which was cancelled last year due to bad weather, starts with a stage between Kortrijk and Bellegem, followed by a stage from Torhout to Handzame, and concludes with a stage starting and finishing in Ichtegem.