Classics move from cobbles to Ardennes
The Spring Classics change terrain this week, switching from the cobblestones to the Ardennes hills, and the teams' line-ups for the Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday reflect that change. Quick Step, BMC Racing Team and RadioShack have all announced their lineups for the Belgian race.
Quick Step is sending “a well-assorted mix of young riders and more experienced athletes,” according to directeur sportif Rik Van Slycke. Most of them have recently ridden the Volta a Catalunya and the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. Davide Malacarne will return to racing for the first time since a crash in the Tour of Flanders earlier this month.
Greg Van Avermaet will lead BMC Racing Team in his homeland race. “Greg's form is good and he has good experience here,” team assistant director Michael Sayers said. “On top of that, Martin Kohler has some really good fitness. He'll be good at a race like this, so he'll be a protected rider, too.”
Team RadioShack is celebrating its newly-announced position atop the UCI's WorldTour team rankings. The US-based team is sending a sprinter-heavy team to Wednesday's race, with such big names as Robbie Hunter and Sebastien Rosseler, who won the race last year.
Quick Step: Marc de Maar (Ned), Dries Devenyns (Bel), Addy Engels (Ned), Davide Malacarne (Ita), Jerome Pineau (Fra), Jan Tratnik (Slo), Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) and Julien Vermote (Bel).
BMC Racing Team Chad Beyer (USA), Yannick Eijssen (Bel), Martin Kohler (Swi), Jeff Louder (USA), John Murphy (USA), Greg Van Avermaet (Bel), Simon Zahner (Swi)
RadioShack: Sam Bewley (NZl), Philip Deignan (Irl), Ben Hermans (Bel), Robbie Hunter (RSA), Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra), Nelson Oliveira (Por), Gregory Rast (Swi) and Sébastien Rosseler (Bel)