Tuesday 12 September 2017 - 18:37

Quick-Step Floors Team to Grand Prix de Wallonie

Quick-Step Floors Team to Grand Prix de Wallonie

Petr Vakoč returns to the race which saw him come very close to victory last year.

After completing the two World Tour events in Canada as Quick-Step Floors' top finisher, Petr Vakoč is already back in Europe for the Grand Prix de Wallonie, where he'll be one of the team's cards for the tough and spectacular finish in Namur. Last season, the Czech put in a late surge which netted him second at the end of the day and will now look to be again among the protagonists.

Of the team who raced on the North American continent last week, Gianluca Brambilla and Pieter Serry will join Petr, with Fernando Gaviria, Iljo Keisse, Davide Martinelli and stagiaires Alvaro Hodeg and Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz completing the squad and adding some serious firepower on the exposed Belgian roads so often battered by winds.

The 212km-long race will start from Chaudfontaine and travel west over a course sprinkled with seven hills: Côte de Saint-Hubert, Côte de Saint-Remacle, Côte de Werbomont, Côte d'Ermeton, Côte de Lustin, Tienne aux Pierres and Côte de la Citadelle de Namur, which overlooks the Meuse river.

Usually, the Grand Prix de Wallonie comes to life in the last 25-30 kilometers, but it will be on the climb to the famous Citadel, which helped the town come to prominence and enhance its status in the Middle Ages, that the big attacks will surface. Averaging 6% over two kilometers, but including some 8% ramps as well as a cobblestone section, the ascent to Namur will be the pivotal hill of the day and should make for some entertaining and thrilling racing as the winner will emerge from the peloton after nearly five hours in the saddle.


Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele