Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team to Dwars door Vlaanderen
A strong and confident team is ready to take on the 73rd edition of the Belgian Classic.
Last year, Quick-Step Floors rode a brilliant and audacious race at Dwars door Vlaanderen, where Yves Lampaert took the biggest win of his career after attacking in the closing kilometers from a group which included teammate Philippe Gilbert, who dutifully covered every move before sprinting to second place and making it a perfect day for our team at the Belgian Classic's debut on the World Tour calendar.
The defending champion will be back for the 73rd edition, scheduled this Wednesday, between Roeselare and Waregem, over 181.1 kilometers. The famous hellingen are again expected to decide the winner, with Kluisberg, Taaienberg (where our team forged the unforgettable E3 Harelbeke masterpiece), Kruisberg and Nokereberg, which features just ten kilometers from the finish, being just some of the hurdles the riders will have to overcome.
Neo-pro Alvaro Hodeg, a stage winner last week at the Volta a Catalunya, will make his first outing in a World Tour one-day race at Dwars door Vlaanderen, where Elia Viviani, the most successful sprinter of this year so far, will conclude the first part of his season. Also making the team for the beautiful race which our squad has won five times will be Iljo Keisse, Maximiliano Richeze, Zdenek Stybar and Niki Terpstra, the E3 Harelbeke champion and two-time victor in Waregem (2012 and 2014).
"It's a completely different course compared to the one of the previous edition, however, it won't be any easier, as it's still a very tough profile. The final is quite the same but there are less cobbles and hills, which on paper will play in favour of a bigger group battling it out in a sprint. One of the things that can ruin it for the sprinters is bad weather conditions, which will make the race a lot more difficult to control for them", said Quick-Step Floors sports director Tom Steels, a former winner of the race.
"Some riders and teams might have De Ronde in mind or be tired from the heavy program of this period, which could make for an atypical race, where even an early breakaway has a chance to go all the way, so we must be prepared for any scenario. We have Viviani in the team, Richeze and Hodeg are there as well, so if we have a chance to go for a sprint, we will try and take it. After finishing in the top three at the last seven races on Belgian turf, we are very motivated to keep the momentum going."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images