Our team will look to be among the protagonists at the tenth World Tour appointment of the season.
One of the few opportunities the sprinters have in the spring to shine in a one-day race, the Classic Brugge-De Panne (211km) takes place on Wednesday, kicking off a fantastic ten days of racing which will see the riders fight for victory in a series of five Belgian Classics and semi-classics, culminating with the Ronde van Vlaanderen on the first weekend of April.
The presence of De Moeren could spice things up and turn everything into a race of attrition if the wind picks up on those exposed roads, as was the case two and a half years ago, when Yves Lampaert soloed to victory from a select group. Otherwise, the race will be controlled by the teams of the fast men, who will try to keep things together for a bunch sprint in De Panne.
European Champion Fabio Jakobsen will lead the team at the Belgian World Tour event, part of a strong Soudal Quick-Step team that will include also Davide Ballerini, Tim Declercq, Figueira Champions Classic winner Casper Pedersen, Jannik Steimle, Bert Van Lerberghe, and Ethan Vernon, the young Brit who has three wins to his name since the start of the season.
“We can expect quite a hard race on Wednesday, as a lot of wind is predicted, and with the course being slightly changed this year, we now have more sections exposed to the wind, not just De Moeren. We rely on a solid team, with Fabio – who is really keen on doing a good race – and Bert as his lead-out, but also some other strong guys who can help in the echelons. We’ll see how things pan out, but the plan is to have as many riders as possible in the final part of the race”, said sports director Tom Steels.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images