With Quick-Step Floors and Lotto Soudal draw only the Belgian WorldTour teams on Sunday, march 4, present for the second edition of Straight through West Flanders (cat. 1.1). The field for the second game in the Napoleon Games Cup is further filled with twelve professional continental teams and eight continental teams.
“The crowded WorldTour calendar, with the Strade Bianche and Paris-Nice will ensure that the big teams our race left to leave”, explains race director Peter Brackez. “Last year we had the interest of Quick-Step Floors, Lotto Soudal, BMC, FDJ, and LottoNL-Jumbo. Only the first two teams in sacks this year have yet to Nieuwpoort. The number of riders of the WorldTour teams is also sensitive reduced. In addition, it is for the teams logistics are not simple to be in two or three different places to be active.”
“Because we have now only two WorldTour teams at the start, we may have a more open course. The quality of the riders is more leveled. Please note that at the professional continental teams are there some valves, such as Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept) but one to mention. Wout van Aert is not on the preliminary list of participants of his team. The chance is according to team manager Nick Nuyens large that Of Aert with the Verandas Willemsploeg still slots in the Strade Bianche.”
In Nieuwpoort is at the height of the fish market started for a tour of 189,3 kilometers, with passages in Ostend, Gistel, Diksmuide and Ieper, as well as the Hills. With the Kemmelberg after 73 kilometres, the first climb, followed by the Rodeberg. Through Westouter, Poperinge and Kortemark is set course in the direction of Ichtegem, where after 137,3 kilometers of four local laps for each 13 miles, with two kasseizones and the climbs of the Keiberg and the Catteberg.
“Our course was almost not planed”, says Brackez. “We were coming to after a trip through the Hills via wide roads in the direction of Ichtegem. Hopefully we on 4 march as better weather in comparison with our uitgeregende first edition.” That first edition was won by Dutchman Jos van Emden, who was in a sprint with two, the Swiss Silvan Dillier knocked.
The participating teams:
WorldTeams: Quick-Step Floors (Bel), Lotto Soudal (Bel)
Professional continental Teams: Vital Concept (Fra), Cofidis (Fra), Wanty-Groupe Gobert (Bel), Veranda’s Willems-Crelan (Bel), Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel), Direct Energy (Fra), WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic (Bel), UnitedHealthcare (Usa), Roompot Dutch Lottery (Ned), Fortuneo-Samsic (Fra), CCC-Sprandi (Pol), Gazprom-Rusvelo (Rus)
Continental teams: Cibel-Cebon (Bel), Tarteletto-Isorex (Bel), Beat CC (Ned), Differdange-Losch (Lux), SEG Racing Team (Ned), Delta Cyclingteam Rotterdam (Ned), Monkey Town, CT (Ned), Joker-Icopal (Noo)