Quick-Step Floors set for Belgian weekend
Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria headlines our eight-man outfit for this week's events.
Just a handful of one-day races are still left on the Belgian calendar this season, and Quick-Step Floors will be at the start of both events scheduled this weekend, which also marks the start of the World Championships, where our squad will try to defend the title won last year in the team time trial. Before shifting the attention to Norway, Quick-Step Floors – the winningest team of the season – will focus on Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen and Primus Classic, two races which always deliver in terms of spectacle.
First of these will be Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen, held in Koolskamp, over a 12.3km circuit which the riders will cover 16 times. Runner-up at the previous edition, when he became the first South American to finish on the podium of the century-old race, Fernando Gaviria will lead Quick-Step Floors there, as he continues to build his form for the World Championships in Bergen.
Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen has a long history of bunch sprints deciding the winner, and for that reason Quick-Step Floors will send a strong team to support the fast Colombian, a squad comprising also Iljo Keisse, Davide Martinelli, Maximiliano Richeze, Fabio Sabatini and Martin Velits, as well as stagiaires Alvaro Hodeg and Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz.
Just one day later, the core of this team will take on the 200km-long Primus Classic (also known as the Grand Prix Impanis-Van Petegem), with Dries Devenyns and quadruple Vuelta a España stage winner Matteo Trentin set to replace the two trainees in the race which will travel from Brakel to Haacht. Gaviria won Primus Classic in 2016, and in case he'll repeat that victory, the 23-year-old will become the first rider in over two decades to score back-to-back victories here.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele