Preview: Tour de Wallonie

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After the midweek classic of the GP Cerami, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will continue it’s Belgian summer campaign by starting the UCI 2.HC Tour de Wallonie on Saturday. 

The Tour de Wallonie is a 5-stage UCI 2.HC category event that starts tomorrow in La Louviere. With the race taking place in the Wallonie region of Belgium, the stages are characterized by hilly routes similar to those of the Ardennes Classics. With numerous opportunities to attack daily, an exciting race can be expected.

Our African Team will send some strong punchers for this tough race with Ben O’Connor making a welcome return to racing. O’Connor was last in action at the Giro d’Italia where his incredible debut grand tour performance was cut short when he crashed out of the race on stage 18, whilst riding to a top 10 overall GC placing.

Joining O’Connor will be Ryan Gibbons, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Mekseb Debesay, Nic Dougall, Lachlan Morton and Nic Dlamini. With a relatively young team on the start line, top stage results will be the initial target for our African Team at the Belgian stage race.

Ben O’Connor – Rider
As cliché as it always sounds – I’m super excited to get racing again for the team and hopefully get back on track to the amazing first half of the year. The Tour de Wallonie course certainly allows for some aggressive punchy racing so I think we can expect plenty of movement from the guys during the race. Ryan I think could really take a few chances this week. Once we then get to the very hilly days Ammanuel, Lachlan and I certainly won’t be hiding or shying away from rolling the dice.

Lineup
Ben O’Connor
Ryan Gibbons
Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier
Mekseb Debesay
Nic Dougall
Lachlan Morton
Nic Dlamini

Image explained:
Iconic cartoon character Tintin is immortalised at the Hergé museum found, in Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, in the province of Walloon Brabant.
This image is borrowed from the The Castafiore Emerald and has the Tour de Wallonie’s third stage arrival town, La Roche-en-Ardenne, on the horizon.
Apologies to Hergé.
Find the Qhubeka hand!