Two-time Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Van Avermaet and Trentin, who has two top ten results to his name at both races, will give CCC Team the strength in numbers needed to race aggressively, Sports Director Valerio Piva said.
“We are excited to line up at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne with two favorites in Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin. Last year, Greg and Matteo were always present in the finales but they were sometimes isolated without teammates at the end of the race. Having two cards to play puts us in a much better position and will allow the team to race more aggressively than we have in the past. After lining up in Valencia and Algarve, they have had the chance to race together already and both riders are in excellent form. We saw Greg looking strong on the climbs in Algarve and his General Classification result shows that he has great legs after a good altitude block in the winter. Matteo was up there in the sprints and also put in a solid time trial on the final day. Now, it’s time to put the partnership to the test in the Classics,” Piva said.
“We have a strong team lining up in support of Greg and Matteo at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, led by our road captain Michael Schär. Our Belgian trio of Gijs Van Hoecke, Nathan Van Hooydonck, and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck train on these roads every day, while Jonas Koch is set to make his debut. At Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Patrick Bevin will have his first real taste of racing on the cobbles with us and we will also bring in Josef Černý, and Łukasz Wiśniowski, who was in the top ten in 2016 and 2018.”
Van Avermaet says everything is coming together well ahead of the Classics.
“I’m feeling really good and I think my shape is as good as the last years, if not better, at this point in the season. I was happy with the way I raced at Volta ao Algarve, especially as none of the stages were really suited to me. Although it would have been nice to get a win before opening weekend, the Classics are my big focus in the first half of the year so my season really starts this weekend. I’m looking forward to lining up with Matteo Trentin and I think we can play off each other when it comes to attacking and covering moves in the finale of both races. We have a strong team and if everything goes to plan, I think we can get some nice results this weekend,” Van Avermaet said.
Trentin is looking forward to making his Classics debut with CCC Team.
“Volta ao Algarve was a nice race to fine-tune my form at before the opening weekend. For sure, I am not at 100 percent yet but I feel good and will have the chance to do some good training rides before Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Racing together with Greg and both being present in the finales will be an advantage for both of us. In the last years, there is always more or less the same number of guys in the front of the race so having a teammate to work with is always going to be better than being alone. The two races are a bit different and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne probably suits me a bit better but we will take things day by day. The weather, for the moment, doesn’t look so nice so it’s going to be even harder,” Trentin said.
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (29 February)
Rider roster: Jonas Koch (GER), Michael Schär (SUI), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL).
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (1 March)
Rider roster: Patrick Bevin (NZ), Josef Černý (CZE), Jonas Koch (GER), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Łukasz Wiśniowski (POL).
Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA), Steve Bauer (CAN)
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