Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team to Driedaagse Brugge – De Panne
Four of our riders lining out for the Belgian race have scored a victory this season.
A force at the previous editions of Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, when it took four overall victories, Quick-Step Floors will aim to be again one of the major players in the Belgian race, despite the event being drastically revamped and reduced from three days to just one, that will give chances to sprinters and classics specialists alike.
The 202.4km-long race will start from Brugge, one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Europe and, between 1998 and 2016, the start venue of Ronde van Vlaanderen, and see the peloton take on two cobbled sectors and five hills in the first half: Steenstraat, Diksmuidseweg, Monteberg (800m, 6.4%), Kemmelberg (500m, 11%), Rodeberg (700m, 6.1%), Vidaigneberg (400m, 4.3%) and Sulferberg (1600m, 2.8%). If these won't break the race, then the crosswinds could do it, leaving only a handful of riders to contest the win in De Panne, where they will take on two flat laps of a 25km-long circuit.
Of the four wins Quick-Step Floors took at the previous incarnation of the race, the most recent was netted in 2017, when Philippe Gilbert came out on top of the general classification, a success he built in stage 1, when he rode away on the mythical Muur-Kapelmuur and took a solo victory.
Our team for Wednesday's race will consist of Rémi Cavagna, Fabio Jakobsen, Davide Martinelli, Maximiliano Richeze, Fabio Sabatini, Florian Sénéchal and Elia Viviani, a strong squad capable of shaping the race and playing several cards depending on what will happen, as sports director Rik van Slycke underlined.
"We don't think the hills will be decisive, coming 100 kilometers from the race. On the other hand, the wind could be a more important factor. We'll see on Wednesday if there's any point in making the race hard before hitting the circuit or just save our energy for the final kilometers. For us, it would be ideal to keep everything together and fight for victory in a sprint, as we have several options, but you can be sure we will do everything to be there even if we have a select group at the finish."
Photo credit: ©Bryn Lennon/ Getty Images