A very experienced group consisting of Edvald Boasson Hagen, Michael Valgren, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Michael Gogl will all play crucial roles on a day in which the Kemmelberg will once again be key feature.
German sprinter Max Walscheid will be looking to continue what he considers to be a run of good form in the role of the team’s ‘fast man’. While neo-pro Samuele Battistella and Rasmus Tiller will both provide crucial supporting roles on the day.
I’m okay, I can walk and I can talk but my mobility with my arm and fingers are not what they used to be, but it will come back over time. All of this due to the accident I had at the end of August.
I’ve been missing being with the team; the sport’s a huge part of my life which I’ve been involved in for the last 26 years in, so I’m happy to feel better and like we say in Denmark: “the horse is back in the circus”.
Obviously we have a team which will be considered as underdogs and I think that’s how we should look to get the best out of it. We need to cope with the fact that we are not favourites and try and fight to surprise a few people, and I think that’s how we can aim for a result.
The Kemmelberg has always and will always be a key moment in this race. In Gent-Wevelgem this year we pass it three times, twice from the south and the final time from the north which is a bit steeper with cobblestones on both sides of this. It also depends on the weather on the day, it’s all open in west Flanders and so it depends on the direction of the wind. I don’t think that we will have any heavy rain.
Wind is a factor, time of the season is a factor and then some of the riders in the peloton are flying like Wout van Aert, Mathieu van de Poel and Julian Alaphilippe, so let’s see how it goes.
I’m feeling good, it was nice to do a ride in good weather today on our final training ride ahead of the race. We don’t expect great conditions but we got used to that last week at the Binck Bank Tour where conditions weren’t great.
I think I’ve carried some good shape out of the Tour de France and I’m definitely motivated for the upcoming Classics. I think that there may be some chances to go for a result for me and I hope to start doing that at Gent-Wevelgem.
I’ve done the race once before and the main obstacles stay the same but otherwise the route changes a little bit so it was good to see it, to get an impression, and get a feeling for the race. The hilly part will definitely be tough and perhaps we have a small advantage in that it’s in our short term memory but we hope to be well positioned at the crucial points.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of NTT Pro Cycling.
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About NTT Pro Cycling:
Founded in 2007, NTT Pro Cycling (NTTProCycling.com) (formerly Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka) became the first-ever African cycling team to gain a WorldTour license, in 2016. With the support of our headline sponsor and technology innovation partner, NTT, we are the most purpose-driven, performance-led, and technology-enabled team in pro cycling today.
Our ambition is to continue to race at the highest levels in world cycling, to develop riders to realise their full potential and to inspire and motivate people across the African continent to ride bicycles.
We have bases in South Africa, Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy.
We also ride to raise awareness for Qhubeka, a global charity operating in South Africa, through our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.
The hands on the back of the team race jersey are a reminder that every Qhubeka bicycle is a helping hand up to a beneficiary, which are provided through Qhubeka's learn-to-earn and work-to-earn programmes.
Qhubeka (Qhubeka.org) is a charity that moves people forward with bicycles. People earn bicycles through our programmes, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs.
A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further, and to carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socioeconomic challenges at the most basic level – helping people to get where they need to go.
About NTT Ltd.:
NTT Ltd. (hello.global.NTT) is a global technology services company bringing together the expertise of leaders in the field, including NTT Communications, Dimension Data and NTT Security. We partner with organizations around the world to shape and achieve outcomes through intelligent technology solutions. For us, intelligent means data driven, connected, digital and secure. As a global ICT provider, we employ more than 40,000 people in a diverse and dynamic workplace and deliver services in over 200 countries and regions. Together we enable the connected future.
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NTT Pro Cycling confirm the seven riders that will take to the start for Gent-Wevelgem (1)