Wanty Groupe Gobert starts in GP Samyn (1.1, 27/02) with defending champion Guillaume Van Keirsbulck. For this first race in Wallonia our sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren counts on Frederik Backaert, Tom Devriendt, Timothy Dupont, Mark McNally, Boris Vallée and Kevin Van Melsen to support Van Keirsbulck. The winner of the edition and our team leader look ahead.
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck:
"My opening weekend was mixed. After the Omloop, I asked myself questions because I never felt good. It was a little panic. But yesterday in Kuurne I have reassured myself. This was a big difference in terms of feeling. I found strength in the legs and still had reserves in the final. I had to prepare the sprint for Timothy, but we lost each other in the final kilometers. "
"It is always fun to start with number 1. The circumstances are different than last year. It will not be too bad, just very cold. I will dress warmly to warm up my muscles for the final. Then we will see who is still present. The course is tiring, but the cobblestones here suit me. Quick Step seems well armed, and when Gilbert is here he wants to win the opening race in Wallonia. "
Hilaire Van der Schueren (sports director):
"I expect a special Le Samyn in these weather conditions. In the final, victims will fall because it is even colder than last year. We will have to dose our efforts just like last year. In the first part of the race we will let Quick Step and Lotto control the race. We only have to make sure that we do not let a group leave with them and without our riders. "
"Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Frederik Backaert will be our two strong men to ride the final, especially because they can cope with the cold. We keep Timothy Dupont as a wildcard for the sprint, although I'm afraid it will not be a sprint here. But it is always interesting to have Timothy, especially for the men who are at the head of the race. "