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Pippo & Co: Stronger Than Before

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What's this about Filippo Pozzato having no help to chase Tom Boonen around Belgium and France? Things are definitely looking up at the moment. Not only is Pozzato demonstrating an elite level of strength, but his wingmen Serguei Ivanov and Stijn Vandebergh are also showing very positive signs. Ivanov finished 23rd in the Ronde last year, and has a solid history here, finishing as high as 9th. Of late he's been riding solidly and Pozzato says Ivanov is ready to play the Devolder role for him. Vandebergh, meanwhile, is putting up results in his second season on the cobbles for Katusha: 28th at the Omloop, 9th at Dwars, 34th in E3 and 14th in the first stage of Driedaagse. Not spectacular, but for a domestique (Sunday) those numbers show that he's ready to get to work.

Pozzato sounds confident, even joking that the fans shouldn't spit at him for shadowing Boonen, they might get some on Tommeke.