Quick-Step Floors plays several cards at Tour of Flanders
Mar 31 2018 07:47 pm CET

Quick-Step Floors plays several cards at Tour of Flanders
Quick-Step Floors plays several cards at Tour of Flanders
Quick-Step Floors jersey ©Sigfrid Eggers

Quick-Step Floors will start at the Tour of Flanders with a strong team that includes more than one rider to fight for the victory.

Philippe Gilbert will be back to try to defend his title and will be joined by other strong candidates for the victory like Niki Terpstra, Yves Lampaert and Zdenek Stybar.

These riders will have the support of hard workers like Tim Declercq, Iljo Keisse and Florian Senechal. "All the favourites are so close these days, none of them afraid to attack each other, so we will have a big battle," said sports director Tom Steels. "Few guys might feel the pressure from missing results so far, a factor which can often influence the race.

"If you are confident then you pick your own moment and go, but if you are uncertain, you start to think if it is too early or too late, which can be in favour of the confident riders."

The Monument will feature five cobblestone sectors and 18 climbs that include icons like the Koppenberg, the Taaienberg and the Oude Kwaremont, which makes an unpredictable race with the reduction of the peloton. "With seven riders it’s very difficult to control a race like De Ronde, you could see that also in other races, like Gent-Wevelgem, where the breakaway opened a 10-minute gap," commented Steels. "Fewer teams are willing to take responsibility, but on the other hand, you have a natural pressure on the peloton due to all the small, narrow roads keeping it going fast at all times, especially before the cobbled sections.

"However, the new team size leaves you with a second problem, which is that you have one guy less to protect the leaders. Usually, you would have one guy to protect each leader the whole day, now that is also more difficult, which is why the strength of the team has become even more important."

Quick-Step Floors' line-up for the Tour of Flanders (1st of April):

Tim Declercq
Philippe Gilbert
Iljo Keisse
Yves Lampaert
Florian Sénéchal
Zdenek Stybar
Niki Terpstra



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