Abu Dhabi: Fernando Gaviria and Alexander Kristoff will once again lead the UAE Team Emirates line-up as they take on the Dwars door Vlaanderen, today, hoping to buck the trend of Belgian winners that have dominated this race over the past four years.
Kristoff produced a sensational ride earlier this week to take home UAE Team Emirates’ first one-day Classics title at Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields.
The Norwegian will be hopeful of a repeat performance and will rely on the support of teammates Jasper Philipsen, Marco Marcato, Sven Erik Bystrom, Oliviero Troia and Norwegian National Champion, Vegard Stake Laengen.
With eleven hills and three cobbled sections to the race, the Dwars door Vlaanderen serves as a timely preparation for the Tour of Flanders taking part on Sunday April 7. The 183km route through the Flemish hills should start off at a steady pace, with riders having to wait until 80km before the first climb. Once they descend, the peloton will have 20km to gear up for the real test — a relentless 80km of ascents and descents, some of which are on cobbled roads. If the recent races in Belgium are anything to go by, we should be in for another nail-biting sprint to the finish.
Allan Peiper, the UAE Team Emirates Sports Director leading the team at Dwars door Vlaanderen said: “I think the Dwars door Vlaanderen is suited to the team’s strengths, and in particular, to Fernando Gaviria. It’s an intense race, but not that complicated like many of the other races in Belgium. So, we are going to focus on taking Fernando to the line to fight for his chance.”