Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team to Brabantse Pijl
Three neo-pros will be on our squad for Wednesday's one-day race.
Brabantse Pijl, which this year is running its 58th edition, makes the transition from the cobbled to the Ardennes classics, taking the riders over a 201.9km-long course comprising 27 short but strenuous climbs. The first part of the route doesn't include too many hurdles and will serve as an appetizer, giving the riders the opportunity to find their rhythm before entering on a tough circuit which they will cover several times.
Hagaard, Hertstraat, Holstheide, Ijskelderlaan and Schavei are the five hills on the Overijse circuit, the last two coming in quick succession. The beauty of the race resides in the fact that the leg-sapping circuit splits the bunch into several small groups, favouring the attackers, who can take advantage of the tricky corners and fast descents featuring in the last kilometers to hold off the chasers and solo to victory on the punchy Schavei, which decided the winner at the past editions, despite averaging just 4.3% over 700 meters.
"With Brabantse we are entering in a new period of the calendar and heading towards the hillier classics. The parcours is up and down the whole day spanning over 202 kilometers. After 132 kilometers, they pass the finish line for the first time and head out on three local laps of 23.4 kilometers featuring five hills, the last three placed inside the last 10 kilometers of the lap. The climbs are rather short and not extreme in gradients but the heavy amount will make a mark on the guys, separating the strongest from the weakest", said sports director Rik van Slycke.
Quick-Step Floors' seven-man roster for Brabantse Pijl will consist of Kasper Asgreen, Rémi Cavagna, Fabio Jakobsen, Bob Jungels, Davide Martinelli, Jhonatan Narvaez and Pieter Serry, and despite being a young team, which includes three debutants, Rik van Slycke looks with optimism to Wednesday's challenge.
"There's a plethora of good riders on the start list and we won't take the race into our hands like in the cobbled classics. This doesn't mean we won't try to get something out of this beautiful race. For sure, we will do everything to bring our riders in the best possible position so they can fight for a good result."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images