Sports Director Steve Bauer said the team is lining up to target both stage wins and the General Classification.
“Tour de Wallonie is ideally positioned in the current calendar for our CCC Team riders who are heading to the Tour de France. The race terrain suits our line up very well, especially the stages with difficulties in the final circuit and close to the finish line. Our leaders, Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin, are both capable of winning and that is what we always aim to accomplish. Greg has shown excellent race form to date and we look forward to getting Matteo back on the right path after his crash in Milano – Sanremo,” Bauer explained.
Van Avermaet, two-time winner of the General Classification in 2011 and 2013, is looking to build on the top ten results he achieved in his first three one-day races back.
“I am really happy to return to the start line at Tour de Wallonie as it has been a long time since I last raced there. It’s always nice to race on home soil, especially for a stage race as I don’t get many opportunities in the normal calendar. Having won five stages and the General Classification twice, I have some really nice memories at the race and I hope to add to this list. We are lining up with a strong team but the competition will be strong as well, as it has been at all of the races since the season restart. I would like to come away with a good result and, of course, the racing kilometers in the legs in the lead up to the Tour de France,” Van Avermaet said.
After crashing out of Milano – Sanremo where he sustained a left knee contusion and road rash, Trentin has rested in the lead up to Tour de Wallonie and will use the race to build back to top form.
“My first goal is to get back to a normal feeling. For now, on the bike I am fine but if I don’t keep walking, I have some pain in my leg. I still need a little bit of time to heal completely but now, a few days before the race, there is enough time to recover more. For sure, my condition won’t be glowing by the start of the race, but it was good before the crash, so I will use the first couple of days to put my body under pressure again and if I see that everything is going in the right direction, why not give it a go in the last two days,” Trentin said.
Tour de Wallonie (16 – 19 August)
Rider roster: Josef Černy (CZE), Jonas Koch (GER), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL)