Ahead of this weekend’s curtain raiser for the cobbled season, Giant Shimano have taken the opportunity to ride reconissance over the final 100 kilometres of Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The Dutch outfit will take part in the weekend’s double bill too, with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne taking place on Sunday. The team also used a training session last week in order to ride sections of the new Tour of Flanders route.
"It was great seeing the last 100km of both Het Nieuwsblad and Flanders, and to get back on the cobbles again," said Koen de Kort.
"It's not long until the classics season starts and everyone is getting really motivated and it eager to put the testing to good use."
The team were using the exercise to test out their new Giant Defy Advanced SL bikes, having made the shift from Felt to Giant over the winter.
"Training on these Flemish roads is like a school trip to the playground for a pro-cyclis," said Roy Curvers in a team press release.
Both Koen de Kort and Roy Curvers are set to line up for Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday with Ramon Sinkeldam, Tom Stamsnijder, Albert Timmer, Bert de Backer, Dries Devenyns and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg completing the line-up.
Sprinters Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb are set to miss both Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne this weekend.
To see the gallery from Giant-Shimano’s recon, click here.