Two-time Belgian Champion Tim Merlier will lead the team at the 48th edition of the event.

One of the few opportunities the sprinters have in the spring to shine in a World Tour one-day race, the Classic Brugge-De Panne (198.9 kilometers) takes place this Wednesday, kicking off a fantastic ten-day period 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 last weekend of March.

Soudal Quick-Step, who currently sits on twelve victories since the start of the season, will come to the start with Tim Merlier, one of the fastest riders in the peloton, who is responsible for half of the team’s wins this year. The Belgian, who recently took his third consecutive success in Nokere Koerse, will be supported by a strong squad consisting of Ayco Bastiaens, Gil Gelders, Luke Lamperti, Bert Van Lerberghe, Warre Vangheluwe and Jordi Warlop.

“The weather and the wind are very important in De Panne, because they can influence the race and the outcome. This year it looks very likely that we will have a bunch sprint. Going into the race, we are quite confident in our chances. Tim proved he is one of the fastest sprinters in the world, has Bert with him for the finale, but also other guys who can control the race. It won’t be easy, it never is, but we aim for a good result and we’ll do our best to get it”, said sports director Tom Steels.


Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images

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