Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team kicks off season in Oz
Our riders navigated safely through the streets of Adelaide, in the People's Choice Classic criterium.
Jack Bauer, Gianluca Brambilla, Eros Capecchi, Dries Devenyns, Enric Mas, Petr Vakoč and Martin Velits were the seven Quick-Step Floors Cycling riders to line up on Sunday for the People's Choice Classic in Adelaide, which this year was held in a different place and consisted of 22 laps around a 2.3km-long circuit, for a total of 50.6 kilometers.
A rapid race was in store right from the start, when several riders tried to get a gap, but in the end it was only Ben O'Connor (Dimension Data) who managed to take half a minute on the peloton, after attacking early and being joined for a couple of laps by William Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac). With the fast-charging bunch on his tail, it was difficult for O'Connor to stay at the front and he was reeled in inside the final laps. The race concluded in a sprint, as expected, where Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) was victorious over the Bora-Hansgrohe duo of Sam Bennett and Peter Sagan.
"The People's Choice Classic was our first competition after a long break for the team, so I think they did well today. They were careful not to take any risks or crash during the fast-paced sprint. In general, I think today's race was good preparation for the Tour Down Under, which starts this Tuesday", said sport director Rik Van Slycke, who also shared his initial thoughts for the race Down Under.
"With regards to the upcoming stages of the Tour, we will wait and see how our riders are feeling. The second stage already features an uphill finish, so after that test we will know more about the situation within the team. The riders we brought to Australia are very strong and we have a nice line-up of guys who could do something special on each stage. But I think after the second stage on Wednesday we will have a good idea of what cards we have to play", concluded Van Slycke.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele