Michael Kwiatkowski will once again lead the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team at Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday. Kwiatkowski kicked off the Ardennes with a solid performance at Amstel Gold, where he finished in fifth place.
QuickStep have made a number of alterations to the team that will be supporting the Pole, to adapt to the hillier parcours. Directeur sportif Davide Bramati believes that the team can put in a solid result at the mid-week race.
"We changed a few elements if you compare it to Amstel where we have more climbers. Our road captain is Michal Kwiatkowski as he showed his condition with his top five finish at Amstel Gold Race. He was also fith at this race in 2013. We will try to do something good again this year and be there for the finale in the second of the three Ardennes Classics."
Kwiatkowski has had an excellent 2014 so far, with victory at Strade Bianche and the Volta ao Algarve. His form makes him one of the favourites for victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège later on in the week. The Polish rider will be supported by his fellow countryman, Michal Golas along with Jan Bakelants and Wout Poels, who recently won a stage at the Vuelta al País Vasco.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep are looking to make the most of the slightly altered Flèche Wallonne route and ride an aggressive race, in an attempt to win for the first time. "There is a change in the parcours where the race will start from Bastogne," explained Bramati. "So, there will be a first part that is flat, and then you enter the final part with the 11 climbs.
"On the Mur de Huy, the second time we climb it could be a 'medial' place to attack as it is at about 25km left to go in the race. We will have to stay focused there and as for sure someone might try and take action well before the final trip up the Mur de Huy.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep team for Flèche Wallonne: Carlos Verona, Gianluca Brambilla, Jan Bakelants, Michal Golas, Michal Kwaitkowski, Pieter Serry, Serge Pauwels, Wout Poels.