While Greg Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan and many other classics contenders have opted to skip Wednesday’s Dwars door Vlaanderen, UAE Team Emirates have included what it describes as its ‘power couple’ - Fernando Gaviria and Alexander Kristoff – in their line-up for the WorldTour race.
Kristoff won Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem with a powerful sprint finish, after Gaviria helped block rival Elia Viviani after spending much of the race in the early attack. The two sprinters had been expected to clash after Gaviria moved to UAE Team Emirates during the winter and Kristoff was named as his leadout man. However, circumstances and excellent rider management have turned the risk of an internal rivalry into success and now the self-declared moniker of the Classics ‘power couple’.
Also in UAE Team Emirates' line-up for Dwars door Vlaanderen are Sven Erik Bystrøm, Vegard Stake Laengen, Marco Marcato, Jasper Philipsen and Oliviero Troia. UAE Team Emirates hope it will be Gaviria’s turn to win in Waregem after 182km of racing in the Flemish hills.
"I think the Dwars door Vlaanderen is suited to the team’s strengths, and in particular, to Fernando Gaviria," said new directeur sportif Allan Peiper.
"It’s an intense race, but not that complicated like many of the other races in Belgium. So, we are going to focus on taking Fernando to the line to fight for his chance."
UAE Team Emirates for Dwars door Vlaanderen: Sven Erik Bystrøm, Fernando Gaviria, Alexander Kristoff, Vegard Stake Laengen, Marco Marcato, Jasper Philipsen and Oliviero Troia.