It is never too early to begin your race preparations and Trek-Segafredo have started theirs for the 2018 Cobbled Classics. The team's leaders for the spring races, John Degenkolb and Jasper Stuyven gave their equipment, and themselves, a rigorous test on the pavé last week.
The pair, with directeur sportif Dirk Demol, took on the route of Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders and the Tour de France's cobbled stage over two days of testing. The two-day ride allowed the riders to hone their set-ups for the forthcoming Classics and Tour.
Trek-Segafredo will be hoping for some bigger results in 2018 after a solid but unspectacular Classics campaign this year. Stuyven and Fabio Felline got them off to a promising start with second at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and fourth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, respectively. However, any further podium places eluded them in the spring. Degenkolb managed top 10 in both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, while Stuyven just missed out on the podium at Roubaix.
One of only three riders to win Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix in the same season, Degenkolb came to the team last year as a replacement for the retired Fabian Cancellara. He had a difficult end to the 2017 season with illness forcing him to end his season early. He told Cyclingnews earlier this month that Trek-Segafredo can turn their consistent results into something bigger with a bit more luck next year.
Stuyven and Degenkolb are likely to be key players when the Tour de France hits the cobbles in the opening week of the 2018 event. The stage 9 route will close out the first week of action and features a whopping 21.7km of cobbles.