Bahrain Merida team to Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège
The Ardennes Classics week opened with the Amstel Gold Race and will continue with Flèche Wallonne (Ans-Huy, 195.5 km) on Wednesday April 24th and with Liège-Bastogne-Liège (256km) on Sunday April 28th.
The tough courses of the Belgian Ardennes await a determined BAHRAIN MERIDA team, starting with the iconic Mur de Huy, one of the steepest and most spectacular finishing ascents in cycling, that riders have to climb three times.
“We have a strong squad for both races” Team Sports Director Rik Verbrugghe says “The last ascent of the Mur is usually the final judge of the Flèche Wallonne. In that key moment we will rely on Teuns and Pozzovivo, that will be ready to follow the attacks of the best riders. Before Mohoric and Caruso can try to focus on the breakaway during the final two laps. Pibernik and Bole will protect our leaders and bring them in a good position, paying also attention to a possible early breakaway, with Haussler that will help to keep the team together”.
The city of Ans will host this year’s start of La Flèche Wallonne, after having been used to welcome the riders at the end of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège. In fact, ‘La Doyenne’ – the oldest of the five Monuments – will bring it back to the heart of Liège, for a finish that should favour riders more suited to a fast finale. The soul of the race remains the same, with nine climbs within the final 100km, as the ‘The Wanne, Stockeu and Haute-Levée triptych’ that comes back, preceded by with the Côte de Mont-le-Soie and a new final sequence, with the legendary La Redoute, the Côte des Forges and spectacular Roche-aux-faucons.
“Vincenzo Nibali will join our boys for the Liège” SD Verbrugghe explains “He will replace Haussler, coming directly from the Tour of the Alps, that will end on Friday. For this reason we will see on the next days if he can recover well, after a tough week. But he is big leader to be add to our squad and he will be motivated for sure”.
Bahrain Merida team’s line-up for the Flèche Wallonne
Grega Bole, Damiano Caruso, Heinrich Haussler, Matej Mohorič, Luka Pibernik, Domenico Pozzovivo and Dylan Teuns
Bahrain Merida team’s line-up for the Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Grega Bole, Damiano Caruso, Matej Mohorič, Vincenzo Nibali, Luka Pibernik, Domenico Pozzovivo and Dylan Teuns