Friday is the eighth edition of the Handzame Classic (1.BC) place. With Team Sky, Quick Step Floors, BMC, Bora-Hansgrohe, Lotto Soudal and Katusha-Alpecin are six WorldTour teams at the start. The chance that a sprint decided about the victory is very large, though, the route is partially changed, and especially peppery. The Bredene-Handzame Classic, promoted to ééndagswedstrijd outside category, is no longer a part of the Napoleon Games Cup.
Last year took the victory to the Norwegian Kristoffer Halvorsen. He took it after a bunch sprint of the Brit Adam Blythe and Kenny Dehaes. The latter won in 2013 this competition. All editions of the Bredene-Handzame Classic ended in a bunch sprint.
“The field is certainly a fascinating kijkstuk to make,” says organizer Bert Pattyn. “Perhaps it is now more difficult for the riders of the spurtersploegen to the suit together to keep the trail more difficult was created. I look forward to the fast guys in the pack, such as last year’s winner. But I tip Rémi Cavagna, and the winner of the recent Danilith-Nokere Curonian, Fabio Jakobsen. Just as the ex-winners Erik Baska (2016) and Kenny Dehaes (2013). Also Moreno Hofland, Baptiste Planckaert, Adam Blythe and streekrenner Timothy Dupont to create chances in a possible bunch sprint.”
The course in a nutshell:
Start Bredene to the Staff Versluyscentrum to 12h45. Through Gistel, Middelkerke, Nieuwpoort, Koksijde, Veurne and Adinkerke, Nuts, Alveringem, Poperinge, Vleteren, Sulferberg, Monteberg, Kemmelberg, Ieper, Langemark-Poelkapelle, Diksmuide, Kortemark and Manageable, where, after 144 kilometres, three local laps track of every 18 kilometers. Arrival is scheduled at 17h30.
Sulferberg (82 km), Monteberg (87 km), Kemmelberg (89 km), Ruidenberg (133 km), Ruidenberg (151 km), Ruidenberg (169 km), Ruidenberg (186 km).
The participating teams:
Team Sky (Bel), Quick-Step Floors (Bel), BMC (Usa), Bora-Hansgrohe (Germany), Lotto Soudal (Bel), Katusha-Alpecin (Sui).
Direct Eenergie (Fra), Delko Marseille-KTM (Fra), Wanty-Groupe Gobert (Bel), Vital Concept (Fra), Roompot Dutch Lottery (Ned), Israel APPROX (Isr), Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel), WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic (Bel), CCC (Pol), UnitedHealthcare (Usa), Hagens Berman Axeon (VSt).
Tarteletto-Isorex-SH (Bel), Cibel-Cebon (Bel), Joker Icopal (Noo), Development Team Sunweb (Dui).
Hall of fame:
2017: Kristoffer Halvorsen (Den)
2016: Erik Baska (Slk)
2015: Gianni Meersman
2014: Luka Mezgec (Sln)
2013: Kenny Dehaes
2012: Francesco Chicchi (Ita)
2011: Steve Sketch