By Bjorn Haake
Jürgen Roelandts will be leading the Silence-Lotto team in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday. The Belgian champion will not race the opening Omloop Het Nieuwsblad/Het Volk on Saturday in order to be fresh for a possible sprint a day later.
Sports Manager Marc Sergeant told Cyclingnews that it was pure team tactics for Roelandts to skip the first Classic of the season. "We have enough riders so we can split the team when there are two races on a weekend. This will allow Roelandts to be the leader in races like Kuurne or Gent-Wevelgem, to name a few."
Sergeant added that while the Omloop was the first race of the season, Kuurne is also an important race for the team. "It is broadcast live on Belgian television and winning Kuurne is a good accomplishment."
Sergeant feels good with Roelandts as a captain for some of the races. "He is the Belgian champion and he is very fast in a field sprint."
Sergeant was not worried about having too many leaders in the Omloop. "I see only two [Philippe Gilbert and Greg van Avermaet - ed.], but maybe [Leif] Hoste can create a surprise. He won't be able to wait until the last two kilometres, though."
Silence-Lotto will try to not repeat Quick Step's race from last year. "They controlled it, but maybe a little bit too early and then they were not there in the end." On the other hand, Quick Step struck back in Kuurne, placing six riders in the top 20. "That was a good revenge," Sergeant said.