Mohoric and Colbrelli lead Bahrain-Merida hopes for E3 and Gent-Wevelgem

First time at cobbled Classics for Slovenian road race champion Mohoric

Bahrain-Merida were not taking part in Wednesday's Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, which means that their cobbled Classics campaign begins at the E3 BinckBank Classic on Friday, followed by Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, with the team being led by Sonny Colbrelli and Matej Mohoric at both races.

It will be Mohoric's first time racing at the so-called cobbled Classics, having only had his first taste of racing on pavé on the final stage of last year's BinckBank Tour stage race, where the Slovenian road race champion successfully defended his race lead to take the overall win.

"It's my first time, and I'm very happy to race on roads that are so important for cycling," Mohoric said on his team's website, fresh from having finished fifth at Milan-San Remo on Saturday.

"My condition is growing day by day, and I expect to be competitive both at Harelbeke [E3] and next Sunday. My Milan-San Remo result gave me the direction I was looking for, and I hope to get some good results," he said.

Italy's Sonny Colbrelli, who finished seventh at the E3 in 2017, is particularly looking forward to Friday's race.

"The E3 route is the one that best suits my characteristics, while Gent-Wevelgem is perhaps better suited to sprinters," he said.

"I was not very lucky a month ago in Belgium, and so I hope to make up for it and have the perfect day," he continued, referring to the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in early March, where couldn't stay with the leaders, while a crash at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne – a race at which he finished third in 2018 – forced him to abandon the race.

"We have a good team for both races," said Bahrain-Merida sports director Tristan Hoffman, "with two leaders in Sonny and Matej, and great quality riders such as Ivan Cortina and Dylan Teuns, while the experience of riders like Heinrich Haussler, Kristijan Koren and Marcel Sieberg will be a great help for our boys."

Bahrain-Merida for the 2019 E3 BinckBank Classic [March 29]: Sonny Colbrelli, Ivan Cortina, Heinrich Haussler, Kristijan Koren, Matej Mohoric, Jan Tratnik, Dylan Teuns

Bahrain-Merida for the 2019 Gent Wevelgem [March 31]: Sonny Colbrelli, Ivan Cortina, Heinrich Haussler, Matej Mohoric, Luka Pibernik, Marcel Sieberg, Jan Tratnik

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