Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team to Scheldeprijs
Our squad has won the Belgian one-day race four times with two different riders in the past 13
For the 106th edition, Scheldeprijs (200.4 kilometers) underwent some significant changes, one of which is that the flag will be dropped from the Dutch town of Terneuzen. From there, the peloton will spend more than 130 kilometers in the Netherlands, more exactly in the Zeeland province, whose strong winds and lashing rain wreaked havoc three years ago at the Tour de France. A similar scenario is likely also now, before entering in Belgium, where the riders will take on the traditional 15.8km-long circuit in Schoten, which they will cover three times before the finish on Churchill Avenue.
Flanders' oldest race will mark the debut of Kasper Asgreen in the Quick-Step Floors jersey; the young Dane, reigning European Champion in the U23 ITT race and a Tour de l'Avenir stage winner, will be one of the three neo-pros in the team, alongside Volta a Catalunya stage victor Alvaro Hodeg and Nokere Koerse champion Fabio Jakobsen.
Iljo Keisse – whose hard-work at the Ronde van Vlaanderen didn't go unnoticed, earning him praise from teammates and fans – will also be on the roster for Scheldeprijs, together with Davide Martinelli, Michael Mørkøv, one of the best lead-out men in the business, and Zdenek Stybar, a top-10 finisher this season in five one-day races, including Strade Bianche, E3 Harelbeke and De Ronde.
Sports director Wilfried Peeters gave a short preview of what could be in store on Wednesday: "It's a different race than what we were used to and the change of route could bring some crosswinds in the first part, so we have to be 100% focused right from the start. We are coming here with some fast guys who can sprint if it will come down to a bunch gallop, but also with riders who can play a role in case the pack splits and a small group ends up fighting for the win."
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