Quick-Step Floors to Nokere Koerse and Handzame Classic
Discover our line-ups for this week's Belgian one-day races.
All four Quick-Step Floors riders who finished the grueling Dwars door West-Vlaanderen in the top 10 will be at the start of Nokere Koerse, on Wednesday: Rémi Cavagna, who less than two weeks ago soloed to his maiden pro victory, runner-up Florian Sénéchal, Fabio Jakobsen and Jhonatan Narvaez. Joining them will be Alvaro Hodeg, Davide Martinelli and Pieter Serry, who comes off the back of a solid display in the season's toughest race so far, Strade Bianche, where he placed ninth.
Created in 1944, the Belgian semi-classic (191km) will be all about the Tiegemberg (750 meters, 5.6%) and Nokereberg (350 meters, 5.7%), which will feature on each of the six laps that the peloton will begin covering 80 kilometers from the start in Deinze, acting as launch pad for the riders who'll try to prevent the race from coming down to a bunch sprint.
Two days later, Rémi Cavagna, Fabio Jakobsen, Davide Martinelli, Florian Sénéchal and Pieter Serry will line out for Handzame Classic – a 199.1km-long race which packs an undulating route and several cobbled sectors that shouldn't pose any problems to the peloton's speedster – where the team will be completed by Belgian ITT Champion Yves Lampaert and Fabio Sabatini.
"Nokere and Handzame are two nice but hard races, which our team has won in the past, and where we hope to play again a key role in the outcome. If you look over our team, you can easily see it's a young one, but these guys don't lack quality or motivation, which they showcased at Dwars door West-Vlaanderen. That's why we are going at the start with confidence that we can continue our solid string of results on Belgian soil", sports director Geert Van Bondt said.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images