A young but determined squad is ready to take on the Belgian one-day race.

Making the transition from the cobbled Classics to the Ardennes ones, Brabantse Pijl is scheduled this Wednesday, when the riders lining out at the start of the 64th edition will do so knowing they’ll have to tackle a demanding 196.9km course featuring 22 classified climbs.

After starting from Leuven, the peloton will travel for almost 120 kilometers before entering on the local circuit around Overijse, spiced up by a cobblestone stretch and four climbs that are perfect for the attackers to try to make the difference: Hertstraat (700m, 3.9%), Moskesstraat (500m, 6.7%), Holstheide (1000m, 5.2%) and the famous S-Bocht Overijse (1300m, 3.7%).

Soudal Quick-Step will take on the race with a very young and motivated team, consisting of three neo-pros – Gil Gelders, Antoine Huby, and U23 Dutch Champion Pepijn Reinderink – who will be joined by Ayco Bastiaens, Pieter Serry, a former podium finisher here, Louis Vervaeke, and Jordi Warlop.

“The race is hard and should be decided on the hills around Overijse. We have a nice mix of young and experienced riders, who like this kind of course, up-and-down the entire day. Louis will be our captain; he is in good form, as shown by his top-three on the second stage of Itzulia, knows how to race for a good result and can be up there. The confidence is there and we hope for a strong outing on Wednesday”, said Soudal Quick-Step sports director Dries Devenyns.


Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images

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