Tinkoff-Saxo, led by team captain Peter Sagan, lines up at Gent-Wevelgem ready for the “Sprinter’s Classic”. As one of the most prestigious races of the cobblestone season, Tinkoff-Saxo looks to build on the team performance at E3 Harelbeke.
Tinkoff-Saxo lines up Peter Sagan, Matti Breschel, Maciej Bodnar, Michael Mørkøv, Matteo Tosatto, Pavel Brutt, Michael Kolar and Nikolay Trusov.
After a promising show of forte from Tinkoff-Saxo led by Peter Sagan at E3 Harelbeke, which eventually fell short of power with 3,5km to the finish line, the team is now looking to secure a result in the prominent Gent-Wevelgem.Sports director Lars Michaelsen notes that Tinkoff-Saxo will try and build on the team performance from Friday’s race.
“We’re starting Gent-Wevelgem with a good moral and ambitions to create a result. Sagan won the race in 2013 and was on the podium the year before and after. Not to forget Matti Breschel who was third in 2012. So we definitely have some experienced forces on the team, which helps to motive our squad. Of course, we want to win, but as it often happens with Gent-Wevelgem the race could very well come down to a sprint in the final, where a lot of guys will be fighting for the same target”, comments Lars Michaelsen, who himself won the race back in 1995.
“We will be at the start of Gent-Wevelgem with E3 Harelbeke fresh in memory and with a bit of mixed emotions. We saw that there’s a high level of cohesion on the team and that we’re absolutely able to ready ourselves, when we have one of the favorites in the race”, continues Lars Michaelsen.
The 239km route of Gent-Wevelgem is guaranteed to create a selection with only the most durable riders making it to the finish line in Wevelgem. After 110 somewhat flat kilometers, the riders face nine registered short but steep climbs – many of them made even tougher by the cobbled road surface. Gent-Wevelgem derives its label “The Sprinter’s Classic” from the fact that the race often sees hardened sprinters fighting for victory on the final 30km of fairly smooth roads.
“It’s going to be another kind of race than Friday’s E3 Harelbeke and Ronde van Vlaanderen next weekend. It all comes down to the constellations after the decisive Kemmelberg and Monteberg with around 30km to go. If there’s an elite breakaway, it might make it to the line, as we saw with Sagan in 2013, or it may come down to a bigger group sprinting for the win”, explains Lars Michaelsen, who details that Tinkoff-Saxo has several cards to play:
“Sagan is our team captain, but we also have a very capable lieutenant in Matti Breschel and someone like Bodnar, if he is feeling strong in the finale, could have a go as well. In summary, we aim to have as many guys in the leading group after Kemmelberg to boost our opportunities on the last 30km section into Wevelgem”, concludes Lars Michaelsen.
Total length: 239 kilometers
Kind: Cobbled World Tour Classic
First edition: 1934
Last year’s winner: John Degenkolb
Best result of Tinkoff-Saxo: 6th – Fabian Cancellara (2006)