Gianni Meersman leading OPQS at Classic Sud Ardèche and La Drôme Classic

Jan Bakelants set for first race since Tour Down Under

With Omega Pharma-Quick Step sending strong squads to the cobbled classics in Belgium, Gianni Meersman will lead the team in two races to take place in France over the coming weekend. Meersman returns to the 200km Classic Sud-Ardèche, a race where he placed sixth in 2013, on Saturday and then quickly turns his attention to the following day's race, La Drôme Classic. The 197km La Drôme Classic features nine punchy ascents with a parcours that favours all-rounders such as Meersman.

"Most of the guys who will take part in this race came from a training camp that the team organized in Algarve last week," Sport Director Davide Bramati said. "Also, Michal Golas was one of the strong riders in support of Michal Kwiatkowski at Volta ao Algarve last week.

"He is motivated from his victory at Trofeo Platja de Muro not long ago. It was the earliest he won a race in his career. We have a good team ready for the short and steep climbs, who are ready for any race scenario, and we will do our best for good results in this pair of French races."

Carlos Verona and Jan Bakelants have been training in Spain after starting their season in Australia at the Tour Down Under and will be on hand to help out Meersman.

OMQS squad for Classic Sud Ardèche and La Drôme Classic: Carlos Verona, Gianluca Brambilla, Gianni Meersman, Jan Bakelants, Julian Alaphilippe, Michal Golas, Pieter Serry and Serge Pauwels

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