Kasper Asgreen, Fabio Jakobsen, Yves Lampaert and Tim Merlier will all be in action for the Wolfpack.
Sunday brings another rendez-vous with the pavé (and plugstreets, for that matter), in Gent-Wevelgem. On paper at least, the course favours the sprinters, although recent editions have shown that a powerful acceleration the last time up the Kemmelberg – the steep climb which has become synonymous to the race – is enough to make an important selection and leave just a handful of riders in contention for the victory at this 85th edition.
The last 33 kilometers are completely flat, perfect for a regrouping and a mass gallop, but it will all depend on the weather – which, at the moment, looks to be a miserable one, similar to what the riders experienced in Wednesday’s Classic Brugge-De Panne – and the size of the front group after the Kemmelberg.
The most successful sprinter of the season so far, with five wins to his name, Belgian Champion Tim Merlier returns to racing in Gent-Wevelgem, where our squad will also include Kasper Asgreen, Tim Declercq, European Champion Fabio Jakobsen, Yves Lampaert, Florian Sénéchal and experienced lead-out man Bert Van Lerberghe.
“Looking at the weather – just 5 degrees Celsius and rain – you just know it will be a very hard, and at the same time, memorable edition of Gent-Wevelgem, one that the riders won’t forget anytime soon. In Tim, Fabio and Bert we have a couple of fresh guys who can go for it, but also Kasper, Yves and Florian give us options. As always, the crucial point will be the Kemmelberg, and only after the last time there we’ll know how the cards will be played”, explained Soudal Quick-Step sports director Tom Steels, a winner of the race as a rider in 1996 and 1999.
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