Orica-GreenEdge head to Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde with a strong squad, including last year's runner up Luke Durbridge. Joining the 2013 Australian road and time trial champion is the majority of GreenEdge's classics squad minus Mat Hayman. Jens Keukeleire and Magnus Cort provide avenues to victory on the opening three stages although a versatile team has been selected for the four stage race which is a key warm up event for the Tour of Flanders.
Starting with a 201.6km opening stage from De Panne to Zottegem, the peloton faces 13 Hellingen before an expected bunch finish. The slightly longer stage two from Zottegem to Koksijde features five Hellingen with the 'pure' sprinters set to battle it out for victory.
While there are bonus seconds on the line for stage winners, the final day split stage often decides the general classification. An undulating stage 3a will suit the sprinters for the third straight day with the bonus seconds for the winner certain to a carrot for those riders chasing GC. The final time trial, a 14.2km out-and-back stage 3b is a lumpy and technical affair which should see further changes in the GC.
With three former Australian time trial champions in the team, Durbridge, Damien Howson and Michael Hepburn, the team will be aiming for a high overall GC result with the final stage key to success. Durbridge's fourth place again the clock elevated him into second place last year and the 23-year-old will be hoping to claim his first win since the 2014 Oceania Championships before tackling Flanders for the second time in his career.
Orica-GreenEdge for Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde: Adam Blythe, Luke Durbridge, Damien Howson, Michael Hepburn, Leigh Howard, Jens Keukeleire, Jens Mouris and Magnus Cort Nielsen.
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