Tomorrow Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will start the UCI 1.HC Scheldeprijs. The 200km mid-week Flanders classic is set to be another showdown for the sprinters. The race will have the familiar flat finishing circuit in Schoten but a new 125km section in the dutch Zeeland region will be tackled beforehand.
The 200km Belgian race is the midweek Flanders classic, that has traditionally separated the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix weekends. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will be at the start tomorrow with the same team that took on Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday.
The Scheldeprijs route is predominantly flat and only on the 3 finishing circuits will a 1.7km cobbled road, Broekstraat, be crossed. While the cobble sector will certainly need some attention, the surface is actually relatively smooth as far as cobbled roads are concerned. It is the possibility of crosswinds which might be the main element that prevents a mass sprint finish tomorrow, particularly with the route change, taking the peloton through the windy Zeeland region of Holland.
Our African Team will be looking to Ryan Gibbons to be part of the final in Schoten and he will be counting on Edvald Boasson Hagen, Julien Vermote, Nic Dougall, Jay Thomson, Jaco Venter and Johann van Zyl for support. In the past 3 editions of the event, we have had a rider finish in top 10 on each occasion with Mark Cavendish’s 2nd place in 2016 being our best result of the lot. Another top 10 result will be the aim against a top class field of sprinters tomorrow.
JP Heynderickx – Sport Director
Tomorrow’s race has a completely new parcours. Instead of the old parcours, we now race a big part in Holland. That particular area is well-known for the echelons and we expect wind tomorrow as well. It is important that we survive the first battle in the echelons tomorrow and then we hope Ryan is still there to go for the sprint in Schoten.