Gent-Wevelgem, one of the longest and toughest races in the calendar, will take place this weekend. Its organizers have expressed that this years` edition will be “a tribute to the victims of the attacks in Brussels on Tuesday, as well as to all victims of senseless violence, both past and present.”
The 241 KM World Tour classic will feature 9 hills including the Casselberg, Catsberg and the Kemmelberg 35 KM from finish. The tricky course together with the wind and rain will most likely prevent the race from ending in a bunch sprint.
LottoNL-Jumbo will again be led by Sep Vanmarcke, as the Belgian rider comes of an 8th place in E3 Harelbeke. Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said:
“There is a bigger chance of a bunch sprint in Gent-Wevelgem (than in E3 Harelbeke), but the group that will sprint for the victory is not going to be a group of 130 riders. If we have an easy Gent-Wevelgem, a maximum of 70 riders will have the chance to sprint. In that case, Sep still will be our front man. He can deliver a good result in a sprint, as well.”
Team Giant-Alpecin is also one of the teams with high hopes going into the race. They will bring an experienced and balanced squad to the start on Sunday morning. Their coach, Marc Reef, said:
“The objective is to go for a good result with the experienced group of riders we have. The wind can be a factor in the early part of the race so we will have to be vigilant. The Kemmelberg will be a key moment in the race so we need be in a good position before the hill begins. If the race comes back together for a bunch sprint we will go for Zico who is showing good form at the moment and we can aim for a top 10 result.”
Team Giant-Alpecin for Gent-Wevelgem: Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Roy Curvers (NED), Bert De Backer (BEL), Koen de Kort (NED), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Albert Timmer (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL);
Team LottoNL-Jumbo for Gent-Wevelgem: Sep Vanmarcke, Bram Tankink, Marrten Tjallingii, Tom Van Asbroeck, Jos van Emden, Twan Castelijns, Maarten Wynants.
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classics Gent-Wevelgem Sep Vanmarcke Team Giant-Alpecin Team LottoNL-Jumbo world tour