A trio of top UCI Road World Championships contenders continue their final tune-ups for Yorkshire on Saturday, as Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) and Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) take the start line at the Primus Classic.
For Van Avermaet, race winner in 2014, the 197km test will be his last race before heading to Yorkshire to compete in the road race for Belgium. Van der Poel will do the same, while Sagan will stay in Belgium to race Sunday's Gooikse Pijl.
The race, formerly known as the GP Impanis – Van Petegem after the two Belgian cycling legends, starts in the latter's hometown of Brakel.
Last year, Taco van der Hoorn (Jumbo-Visma) won the race from the early break, just about managing to hold off the peloton in the closing metres. Fernando Gaviria, Sep Vanmarcke and André Greipel are among previous winner of the semi-classic.
For three-time world champion Sagan, the build-up represents a change of tack from the past, which has seen him take on the Vuelta a España or BinckBank Tour before the Worlds. It's the first time the Slovakian will take on either Belgian race. He heads to the Primus Classic off the back of second place at the GP Québec last weekend.
Van Avermaet finished third in Québec and won the GP Montréal and is following the same build-up as he did in 2018. It's a similar schedule to 2014 too, where the Belgian achieved a career-best fifth place in Ponferrada, Spain.
Like Sagan, Van der Poel is also making his debut at the race ahead of his first Road World Championships. The Dutch phenom won three stages and the overall at the recent Tour of Britain and will be one of the main riders to watch in Yorkshire.
Other riders on the start line at the Primus Classic include Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo).
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