Gert Steegmans has finally convinced Katusha manager Andrei Tchmil that he must rest if he is to regain his fitness. The Belgian developed a problem in the Tour Down Under that has failed to respond to treatment. He says that he is OK in training but if he makes a serious effort he develops a tingling in his buttock and has no power in his left leg.
Steegmans feels that it may take an operation to resolve the problem although he is hopeful that more conservative treatment could put him on the road to recovery. No doubt Tchmil feels that Filippo Pozzato, who is in good form, could win De Ronde and Steegman’s contribution could have been crucial to the Russian team’s hopes. Having watched today’s Brabantse Pijl and the sterling work of QuickStep, particularly Jerome Pineau, I am sure Boonen will not be short of willing helpers in Flanders next Sunday.
greenjersey enjoyed tuesday’s Paris-Nice stage so much that he is reluctant to take a pop at Harman but if Eurosport cycling commentators aren’t fair game who is?
As the break formed due to the efforts of the Rabobank team David kept banging on about the good understanding between Sylvain Chavanel and Juan Manuel Garate due to them being former team mates which is, of course, complete tosh. True Garate was at QuickStep between 2006 and 2008 but Chavanel wasn’t as until this season he has spent his career with French teams.
Chavanel is clearly in super form and as he has twice won the Trophee des Grimpeurs he must be a handy climber so hanging on to the jersey until Nice isn’t an impossibility. That said yesterday he was clearly riding for the stage not the jersey as neither he nor his team mate battered along at the front to keep the pace high when the jockeying about started.
Last year Chavanel won Brabantse Pijl and Dwars door Vlaanderen so he is at home on flemish roads and now with the strength and knowledge of QuickStep behind him he is greenjersey’s favourite for the Tour of Flanders.