Jolien D'hoore spearheads Wiggle's charge into Tour of Flanders

Edmondson and Longo Borghini also in the mix

Jolien D'hoore is set to lead Wiggle High5's challenge in Sunday's women's Tour of Flanders, with the Belgian in strong form and high spirits after her second place in last weekend's Gent-Wevelgem.

The former Belgian national champion has enjoyed a strong start to the 2017 season with a win in Spar-Omloop van het Hageland and further top ten places in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Ronde van Drenthe. Wiggle High5 also go into Flanders with Elisa Longo Borghini – the 2015 Flanders champion – and Annette Edmondson, who won the Pajot Hills Classics earlier this week.

"Sunday is like a Holy Day for the Belgians," D'hoore said in statement released by the team.

"So it's important for me, it's the race I worked for all winter, and I just hope for good legs on Sunday. I know the team's really strong now, so I'm really looking forward to racing now."

After her runner-up spot in Gent-Wevelgem, D'hoore will be aware that her form will make her a marked rider but she will take motivation from narrowly missing out last weekend. Wiggle High5 have good relationship with the Tour of Flanders and made the podium last year when Emma Johansson was edged out in the sprint against Lizzie Deignan.

“Mostly I’m happy with the form I have right now, in the last couple of races. Coming second is disappointing, certainly if it's like a little difference like that – a photo finish – but then I saw the video again, and I saw that I just hesitated for just a fraction of a second a few hundred metres before the finish and maybe that cost me the victory.

"It's really a shame because it's WorldTour and you always want to win the big races, but my form is good so I should be happy with that.

"I just want to win a big race in Belgium, a big Classic,” she added. “The biggest one and the nicest one would be Flanders, but it's also the hardest one to win. It's the one that everyone wants to win, and there are a lot of candidates for the win. It won't be easy!

"We have several cards to play, so every race can go to our advantage. Elisa can go solo, I can do it in a sprint. We have several types of riders, so we can handle every situation with the team."

Edmondson will also have her chance to shine after her recent win. The 25-year-old Australian beat a group to the line that included Barbara Guarischi, Tiffany Cromwell and Amy Pieters in the Pajot Hills Classic.

"Every single rider in the team on Sunday is in good form," D'hoore added. “It's one of the biggest races of the year, so yeah, I think it's good for the team."

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling for the Tour of Flanders: Giorgia Bronzini (Italy), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (France), Jolien D'hoore (Belgium), Annette Edmondson (Australia), Claudia Lichtenberg (Germany), Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)

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