Wiggle Honda head into the Tour of Flanders with a number of leadership cards to play and plenty of confidence after a successful last month of racing.
In Giorgia Bronzini, Jolien D'hoore and Elisa Longo Borghini the team has a number of options, and teammate Chloe Hosking believes that such strength in depth with serve them well on Sunday.
"We have Elisa on the team, she’s been forth the last two years and then we have Giorgia as well. If Gio gets to the finish in a group she’s going to be hard to be beat, and with Jolien too we have a really strong team. We’ve not talked about tactics yet," Hosking told Cyclingnews a day after the team’s final reconnaissance ride.
"Typically there’s a small group and then the peloton behind. We just want to put as many riders in the front group and then play the numbers from there."
Hosking finished third in last weekend’s Gent-Wevelgem and D’hoore won the first round of the World Cup at the Ronde van Drenthe and finished one place back on Hosking in Wevelgem. Longo Borghini, another of the team’s new signings has also shown good form recently with a fourth place in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda. At the start of the season the raft of new signings took their time to gel with the rest of the squad but after training camps and a block of racing the team are finally hitting their stride.
"We were still trying to get things clicking in Qatar but on the last stage we got it together it’s just that I didn’t win. Then we smashed it at Drenthe so it’s all coming together. We like racing together and we all have confidence in each other. There’s no egos coming into play and we’re all willing to sacrifice our chances for each other."
With Flanders making up the third round of the Women’s World Cup eyes will be on the leader’s jersey and current completion leader Elizabeth Armitstead, however Hosking stressed that Wiggle’s focus is simply on winning races, rather than any long-term designs on the final standings.
"We just want to win as many races as possible rather than target just the world cup. As you saw with Jolien going to Gent-Wevelgem rather than Binda, you saw that we wanted to send the best riders to the races that suit them. We just want to win as many races as possible in the calendar."
"I’m happy with my form is. I had a bit of a bug after Drenthe but came good again at Gent-Wevelgem. For me, there’s no expectations at Flanders because I’ve not finished with the front group before so my role is to help the rest of the team as much as possible."
Wiggle Honda for the Tour of Flanders: Giorgia Bronzini (Italy), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (France), Jolien D’hoore (Belgium), Mayuko Hagiwara (Japan), Chloe Hosking (Australia), Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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