Back to the Flanders Classic
It’s back to run on the Flanders’s roads. On Friday the E3, start and finish in Harelbeke after 206km, while on Sunday the Gent-Wevelgem’s 80th edition will be staged. The E3, also called the mini “Ronde van Vlaanderen”, deals with several Flemish “muur” such as the Kapelberg, the Patersberg and, with 38km to go, the Oude Kwaremont. It’s a very selective race that last year saw our Sonny Colbrelli arrived in 7th place.
The Gent-Wevelgem is 250km long, of which the first 130 without particular difficulties except the insidious wind coming from the North Sea. The central part is all up and down with the Baneberg and the Kemmelberg with a maximum gradient of 22% and finally the last 30km are on flat roads and therefore a large group is expected to arrive.
Sport director Tristan Hoffman is optimistic: “The team is strong and we have more experience than last year. For the E3, our leader will be Sonny, but keep an eye on Heinrich Haussler who will be our race captain. The Oude Kwaremont will be the crucial point; we will have to be up in the front before this climb. For the Sunday race, I still expect Sonny and Heinrich helped by a team of young people like Per, Pibernik and Cortina and experienced rider like Koren and Bozic “.
Sonny returns to Flanders after the Italian races: “I am finally recovered from the bronchitis that had stopped me at the Tirreno-Adriatico. The 9th place at the Sanremo has confirmed me to be on the right road and the next two races I like very much. In other words, I am leaving convinced that I can do well “.
Heinrich also appeared last Saturday in great form: “I recovered well from the injury and above all I really want to show how much I’m worth. Flemish races are always a great love for me. I’ll be the race captain and I’m sure we will not be inferior to anyone. “
TBM line-up: Heinrich Haussler, Borut Bozic, Sonny Corbrelli, Ivan Cortina, David Per, Kristijan Koren and Luka Pibernik
(All pictures attached can be used for editorial and non-commercial use) – © Team Bahrain-Merida / @BettiniPhoto)