Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team to BinckBank Tour
Former winners Zdenek Stybar and Niki Terpstra headline our squad for the seven-day race.
Sixteen stage victories, four secondary classifications and two overall wins have made the BinckBankTour a happy hunting ground over the years for Quick-Step Floors, who'll go into the 14th edition as firm leader of the World Tour team standings, which our outfit tops since the end of March.
Zdenek Stybar and Niki Terpstra, who won the competition in 2013 and 2016 respectively, will carry Quick-Step Floors' overall ambitions at the season's 29th World Tour event, where Fabio Jakobsen – one of the most successful neo-pros of the year – will aim to confirm his sprint credentials and grab one of the numerous opportunities the fast men will have. Supporting them will be Tim Declercq, Belgian Champion Yves Lampaert, Giro d'Italia stage victor Maximilian Schachmann, who recently claimed the bronze medal in the ITT race at the European Championships, and Florian Sénéchal.
On paper, the race is much easier than in the past years, with opportunities aplenty for the sprinters, a 12.7km individual time trial in Venray and a stage which should set off the fireworks on the final day, when the riders will tackle the slopes of the famous Muur-Kapelmuur.
Sports director Tom Steels expects a tight and intense battle for the overall victory throughout the week: "I think the GC will be decided by a matter of seconds. In the past we had the Ardennes stage, but as this isn't returning on the course and with just a short time trial in store, the differences will be minimal until the last stage in Geraardsbergen. The wind can be an important factor, and the same goes for the cobblestone sectors, as some teams could try to shake up the classification there."
"Our neo-pro Fabio Jakobsen gets a nice chance to try himself again on the World Tour and he has what it takes to get some good results, as we have seen on several occasions this season. There will be plenty of sprint chances and we are confident he will be there. For the overall win we have several cards we can play and hopefully we will notch up some good results with the squad we have put together", concluded Steels.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images