Team Sky has named their Dwars door Vlaanderen line-up with Gianni Moscon, Luke Rowe, Lukasz Wisniowski and Chris Lawless among their seven starters for Wednesday's race. The quartet will be joined by sprinter Kristoffer Halvorsen, Jon Dibben and Ian Stannard.
For Rowe, it will be his second stint on the cobbles after fearing he would miss the Classics altogether following an accident that resulted in a broken leg. He rode his first cobbled race at Nokere Koerse two weeks ago, before riding Milan-San Remo and the recent Coppi e Bartali stage race in Italy.
The Welshman has defied expectations in his recovery after breaking his leg in a white water rafting incident last August. Several days after the accident, Rowe said that it was more than likely he would have to miss out the Classics, predicting that he would probably not return to racing until the middle of the season. However, Rowe made his racing debut at the Abu Dhabi Tour at the end of February and has also been named on the provisional line-up for the Tour of Flanders. How he will fare remains to be seen.
Dwars door Vlaanderen is a race that can be hard to predict and requires teams to have a number of options. Last season saw a breakaway win by Quick-Step Floors’ Yves Lampaert. However, the previous season the race came down to a small bunch sprint. With Lawless, who won the bunch sprint on the final stage of the Coppi e Bartali, and Halvorsen, Team Sky has options for the second eventuality.
Moscon and Wisniowski could be cards to play if the race comes down to a breakaway. Wisniowski took a surprise second place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and eighth at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne last month. However, he missed the cut at E3 Harelbeke on Friday, finishing well down the standings. Moscon enjoyed a solid performance on Friday to take eighth place. He was with the front riders at Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem but hit a barrier on the Kemmelberg climb, putting him out of any contention.
Team Sky for Dwars door Vlaanderen: Luke Rowe, Jon Dibben, Kristoffer Halvorsen, Chris Lawless, Gianni Moscon, Ian Stannard and Lukas Wisniowski.