Michael Matthews will share the lead with Søren Kragh Andersen and Edward Theuns at E3 Harelbeke on Friday, and Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday. Matthews has only completed one race so far this season but was able to claim a top-ten at Milan-San Remo last weekend.
Ellen van Dijk, who won the Omloop van het Hageland last month, and Lucinda Brand are both set for the women’s Gent-Wevelgem, which also takes place Sunday.
In E3 Harelbeke, on Friday, March 23, Matthews and Andersen will be co-leaders. “We will have to ride alertly all day and be in good position, especially in the final with the Paterberg, Oude Kwaremont and Karnemelkbeekstraat in succession,” Marc Reef told the Belga news agency. “We have to make sure our leaders Michael and Søren are in the front group that is going to compete for the victory.”
Matthews suffered a fractured shoulder at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, but was able to finish seventh in Milan-San Remo. Andersen is returning to racing after abandoning Tirreno-Adriatico due to illness. They will be supported by Phil Bauhaus, Roy Curvers, Lennard Hofstede, Tom Stamsnijder, and Mike Teunissen.
Two days later, on Sunday, March 25, Matthews and Theuns will share the captaincy in Gent-Wevelgem.The young Belgian was sixth in Omloop. Nikias Arndt will replace Bauhaus in this race.