Warren Barguil headlines the Giant-Shimano team for the upcoming Flèche Wallonne. The French climber finished 20th in the Tour of the Basque Country after a stellar ninth position in the overall of the Volta a Catalunya. After some rest the young French rider is ready for the Ardennes Classics.
"We head to Flèche Wallonne with a view to getting Warren is as good a position as possible at the foot of the steep finishing climb of the Mur de Huy which suits his characteristics as a climber," sports director Christian Guiberteau said.
With Tom Dumoulin the Dutch team have another rider in form. The Dutchman netted his first professional victory in the Criterium International three weeks ago and finished 20th in his home race: the Amstel Gold Race.
"Dumoulin is also in good shape for the Ardennes Classics and we will look to keep him protected for as long as possible too. It is promising for the future to be heading into the race with two strong, young talents in the early stages of their careers, but who are already proving capable of challenging with the best."
Giant-Shimano had a strong showing in the recent cobbled Classics campaign with a victory in Gent-Wevelgem for John Degenkolb and a second place for the German in Paris-Roubaix. In total, the team has 17 victories so far delivered by six different riders.
The strength of Giant-Shimano as a team is also something Guiberteau expects to be vital in the Flèche Wallonne. "Teamwork is always important in these types of races for both positioning and also because anything can happen. The team have proven that this is one of our strong qualities so far this spring and they will look to continue with this here," the Frenchman said.
Next to Barguil and Dumoulin, Giant-Shimano is taking Thomas Damuseau, Thierry Hupond, Cheng Ji, Tom Peterson, Johannes Fröhlinger and Daan Olivier to the Mur de Huy.