Next Wednesday, February 23, the Belgian Quick Step team will set out on their traditional reconnaissance of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad scheduled for Saturday, Febraury 26.
No fewer than 15 riders from the team, led by directeur sportif Rik Van Slycke, will start out on the course of the Belgian season opener from Gent at 10am.
"As usual Gent will be the starting point from which we'll tackle the race course," said Van Slycke. "We'll train for about five and a half hours, paying close attention to any changes that have been made to the route."
Indeed, the Omloop parcours has been changed from previous years, with a new two-kilometre section of cobbles - the Haaghoek road in Horebeke - added to the event. The peloton will take on the new sector three times during the race.
The Quick Step riders called up for the very special training event are: Andy Cappelle, Gerald Ciolek, Kevin De Weert, Dries Devenyns, Addy Engels, Iljo Keisse, Nikolas Maes, Frederique Robert, Kevin Seeldraeyers, Andreas Stauff, Niki Terpstra, Kevin Van Impe, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Kristof Vandewalle and Julien Vermote.
Tom Boonen, Gert Steegmans and Sylvain Chavanel will not participate in the reconnaissance.