Milan-San Remo winner Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) is back in action at the Driedaagse De Panne, looking for more success in the expected sprint finishes after beating Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) and Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Leopard) to win the first major classic of the 2013 season.
Ciolek's MTN-Qhubeka team did not secure wild card invitations to the E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem and so the German sprinter has been training at home while many of his rivals suffered in the cold.
“I have been back on the bike since (last) Wednesday so I only took two days off after Milan Sanremo,” Ciolek said in a press release from the team.
“I recovered pretty quickly. I must admit that I didn't celebrate that much either, so I had two relaxing days with my family and friends.”
Ciolek's victory at Milan-San Remo was a huge boost for the new Professional Continental team which helps promote child bicycle use in Africa. However Ciolek and the team are hungry for further success this spring.
"Of course, a victory like Milan-San Remo provides you with a certain degree of confidence, but then again I know that we should go to the races with the same attitude as before, and don't put too much pressure on the team. At the same time, of course I am not going to sit back in the race,” Ciolek said.
Driedaagse De Panne consists of four stages of racing during the three days: three road stages and a final 14km individual time trial.
Also in the MTN-Qhubeka team for Driedaagse De Panne are Andreas Stauff, Bradley Potgieter, Martin Reimer, Martin Wesemann, Youcef Reguigui and Jani Tewelde of Eritrea.