Sports Director Valerio Piva said that CCC Team is taking a mix of youth and experience to the 202-kilometer race.
“This is the start of a big block of one-day Classics and, like everyone, we are all looking forward to it. For La Flèche Wallonne, we have a strong team with riders who have lots of experience as well as some who will be racing here for the first time. Our ambition is to be active right from the start of the race and I think Alessandro De Marchi and Simon Geschke will be our leaders on paper. Alongside Jan Hirt and Jonas Koch, both of them head to the race after the Tour de France and I think this race suits their styles more so, while I don’t necessarily want to sacrifice any rider, we will try to save De Marchi and Geschke for the finale. The circuit is different from previous years but with the finish staying on the Mur de Huy, the race will still be hard. Overall, I think we have a good team for this kind of parcours and we will aim to continue racing aggressively,” Piva explained.
De Marchi and Geschke are looking forward to the start of the Ardennes Classics after a demanding Tour de France.
“I am happy to be back racing in the Ardennes and it will definitely be interesting to see how these races change now they are taking place at a different time of the year and also, now that most of the bunch will probably be coming out of the Tour de France. I think this is maybe the first time we will race these particular Classics after a Grand Tour and that will definitely change the type of racing we see but I am looking forward to it. Personally, I am coming out of the Tour feeling good and confident in my shape so I am also curious about how I will react to these races with a Grand Tour already in my legs but I am ready for them, starting with La Flèche Wallonne, and I hope that I can find a good result out on the road,” De Marchi said.
“The Tour was obviously pretty tough for us all and now the rest of the season is coming up really quick so, it’s a new situation for everyone with these races at this time of the year. I think everything will depend on how fresh you are feeling and how well you have recovered from the previous races. I can take some confidence out of how I am feeling now and also that last year after the Tour, I was also racing well so I am hoping for the same thing this year. The Ardennes Classics were one of my main goals for the season at the start of the year so, even though they’re happening at a different time, I want to make the most out of them and I hope that I can perform well and get some good results,” Geschke added.
La Flèche Wallonne (30 September)
Rider Roster: Will Barta (USA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Simon Geschke (GER), Jan Hirt (CZE), Jonas Koch (GER), Michał Paluta (POL), Georg Zimmermann (GER)
Sports Director: Valerio Piva (ITA)