Klier: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is all about suffering

On Saturday, February 24 and Sunday 25, Cyclingnews will have full live coverage of the men’s races at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, from start to finish, here.

Sep Vanmarcke will lead the line for EF Education First-Drapac into the opening weekend of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.

The 29-year-old Classics specialist won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2012 and after his last spring campaign was hampered by illness, the Belgian will be hoping for better luck.

Guiding him and the rest of the American team will be Andreas Klier. The German directeur sportif raced Omloop Het Nieuwslbad 16 times as a professional and has built a reputation as one of the most astute directors in the convoy.

"This race is all about suffering, often in bad weather, alongside a nervous peloton, but at the end of the day, it is one of the few northern Classics with a long tradition and it's a beauty of a race," he said in a statement issued by the team.

Vanmarcke already has 10 days of racing in his legs after racing in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and the Ruta del Sol. He will be supported by an experienced squad and is looking forward to going up against the likes of Greg Van Avermaet and Philippe Gilbert.

Vanmarcke has never won a Monument but he has made the podium in both Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. He has also been a runner-up on Gent-Wevelgem on two occasions.

"Omloop is the first important race of the season and the first time on cobbles," he said. "The atmosphere is great, and everybody wants to be good. It's hard, full-gas racing.

"In Valencia and Ruta, the team was riding perfectly together. To me, it feels very different than last year. We were in Spain with a part of the classics team, so we are already used to each other. Others, like Mitch Docker and Tom Scully, I haven't raced with this year, but they will fit in the system because they are real team players."

EF Education First-Drapac for Omloop Het Nieuwslbad: Sep Vanmarcke, Sebastian Langeveld, Matti Breschel, Mitch Docker, Sacha Modolo, Logan Owen, and Tom Scully.

EF Education First-Drapac for Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne: Sep Vanmarcke, Sebastian Langeveld, Matti Breschel, Mitch Docker, Sacha Modolo, Tom Van Asbroek, and Tom Scully.


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