Matti Breschel (Rabobank)
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Rabobank rider still not back to his best
After a troubled 2011 season due to a knee and hand injuries Danish classics specialist Matti Breschel (Rabobank) is back in the peloton and riding the races he loves. Two years after making his breakthrough victory in semi-classic Dwars door Vlaanderen and being one of the protagonists in the Tour de Flanders he’s back in business.
After tackling the semi-classic E3-Prijs Harelbeke it is clear that the 27-year-old from Ballerup is back at a high level although it seems like he lacks the final edge to keep up with the best on the key obstacles. Nevertheless he’ll be a man to take into account for the upcoming Monuments, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
In the finale of the E3-Prijs Harelbeke there were three Rabobank riders present, Breschel, Lars Boom and Dennis van Winden. TV images showed that Breschel received a hand-swing from a teammate in the final kilometer which eventually only helped him up to eleventh place at the finish line in Harelbeke.
“I f*cked it up. I was too far behind,” Breschel said.
Much earlier on the Taaienberg where it is known that Tom Boonen tends to test his legs, Breschel wasn’t among the group of riders that joined the eventual Belgian winner.
“I didn’t fight enough for my position. I was just a few places too far behind. We closed the gap. In the beginning you think it’s over but you have to keep up the morale and let the race come to you,” Breschel said.
Eventually the Taaienberg didn’t prove to be decisive and a large peloton arrived at the foot of the Oude Kwaremont. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) set the pace in front at first with Boonen, Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan) and Breschel keeping things under control around fifth place.
“On the [Oude] Kwaremont I stayed in front and then Cancellara attacked.” The acceleration from Spartacus came halfway up the long cobbled climb in the village of Kwaremont. Boonen, Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda), Peter Sagan (Liquigas) and Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini – Selle Italia) followed swiftly while Van Avermaet and Breschel had to let go of the top guns. Even though things got back together eventually this wasn’t what Breschel hoped for one week ahead of the Ronde. Two years
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