Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team to Dwars door het Hageland
Dries Devenyns will make his return to competition after more than three months.
On March 11, Dries Devenyns decided together with the Quick-Step Floors medical staff to not start the final stage of Paris-Nice due to lower back pain radiating to his right leg, the MRI he underwent one day later revealing a disc herniation with compression which required surgery.
After spending one month off the bike and following a rehabilitation program, which kept him out of several one-day and stage races, the 34-year-old Belgian is now ready to pin a number again for what he hopes to be a solid second half of the season, which he'll kick off at the 15th edition of Dwars door het Hageland (June 15).
"It has been a long time since my last race, over three months. After I had surgery I did nothing, apart from walking around in the first four weeks. Then, another four weeks followed with a lot of core stability training and low intensity training on the bike. I've had a few good weeks of training and that is where I am now. I have no idea how my condition is. The sensation is good in training and I have been able to do a good work load but I am missing the race speed."
Dries, who before the injury had posted nine top 10 placings this season, including an impressive fifth overall at the Tour Down Under, revealed his program for the upcoming weeks: "I am really happy to come back to racing. I will do Hageland, Brugge and Halle-Ingooigem, which will hopefully ease me nicely into racing again. I hope I can find the rhythm and get strong enough to help my team at the National Championships, next week. After that follows a long period of training in Livigno where I hope to catch up on the level I had before the injury."
Alvaro Hodeg and Fabio Jakobsen – two neo-pros who shone brightly this season – Davide Martinelli, Florian Sénéchal, Pieter Serry and Elia Viviani, who's making his first appearance since claiming four memorable stage victories and the famed cyclamen jersey at the Giro d'Italia, will also be on Quick-Step Floors' roster for the 197.8km-long race which starts from Aarschot and finishes in Diest after taking the riders over a demanding course that includes several hills and pavé sectors.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images