Benoot and Keukeleire ready for Paris-Roubaix
On Sunday 14 April, the riders will take on the mighty cobbles of Paris-Roubaix.
The Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne is the second Belgian WorldTour race of the year. For the first time in their history, the race gets this ranking. The 200.3 kilometres long course includes various cobbled sections, but also the Kemmelberg and the Rodeberg. After two local laps of 25 kilometres through De Panne, we will know who succeeds Elia Viviani. Frederik Willems, sports director and former winner of this race, looks ahead.
Frederik Willems: “The course really resembles the one of Bredene-Koksijde Classic, so I expect the race will unfold similarly and that it will probably end with a bunch sprint. The field however, is stronger now as this is WorldTour level. Jens Keukeleire will be our leader. He is usually one of the leaders in our team during the Classics. His shape is very good, just like in Milan-San Remo where he was well-positioned on the Poggio.”
“After the Kemmelberg, there is also the Rodeberg and the Sulferberg. Maybe the peloton will split there, allowing an interesting group to break clear. It is a long time from there until the finish though, so we will have to wait and see if that really happens. The local course at the end is not very dangerous. They will cross the Moeren three times, a wide and open area where you must always be careful. Also some narrow passage ways are included, but these should not cause any problems. It is now ten years ago that I won the Driedaagse myself. I still look back on it as a very nice victory, especially because it was in my home country and in addition being the start of the Flemish spring races.”
Line-up Lotto Soudal: Adam Blythe, Stan Dewulf, Frederik Frison, Rasmus Byriel Iversen, Jens Keukeleire, Lawrence Naesen and Enzo Wouters.
Sports directors: Frederik Willems and Herman Frison.