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Brabantse Pijl the next opportunity for Team BikeExchange-Jayco men & women

Brabantse Pijl the next opportunity for Team BikeExchange-Jayco men & women

The racing action doesn’t stop as Team BikeExchange-Jayco men and women line-up on Wednesday for the mid-week classic, Brabantse Pijl, beaming with motivation after strong performances in the recent races.

Two-time runner up Michael Matthews will lead a well-rounded men’s squad and comes in fresh from his seventh-place finish at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, which left him hungry for more after missing out on the podium. Alongside the Australian will be fellow fast men, Luka Mezgec and Dion Smith, while Jack Bauer, Luke Durbridge, Nick Schultz and Jan Maas provide the 31-year-old with a strong support squad.

The lengthy 204.8km route weaves its way up down 24 short steep climbs and is traditionally the ‘bridge’ race, linking the cobble classics and the Ardennes races, however for 2022 it falls on the same day in the calendar but after preceding Paris-Roubaix instead of Amstel Gold Race.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-up:
Jack Bauer (NZL)
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Jan Maas (NED)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)
Nick Schultz (AUS)
Dion Smith (NZL)

Michael Matthews:
“I’ve felt good in the last few races, the form is there and previously I’ve always done quite well in Brabantse so I feel ready for Wednesday.

It is a race I really like, it’s abit strange this year having it after Amstel Gold but I’m ready to try and come away with the victory. We’ve been working well as a team executing our plan, it just comes down to tactics in the final and who has the legs in the sprint. I’m really looking forward to it.”

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For the women’s event, the team line-up with a similar squad to Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race with a mix of climbers and pure power.

After winning the Queen of the Mountains award after being in and amongst the action in Amstel Gold Race, the experienced Amanda Spratt is back to test her legs along with Ane Santesteban and Alex Manly, who has stepped up in the recent classics races.

Urksa Zigart comes in fresh to the team, with Chelsie Tan Wei Shi and Georgia Williams rounding out the squad, ready for no less than 24 climbs during the 140km route.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-up:
Alex Manly (AUS)
Ane Santesteban (ESP)
Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Chelsie Tan Wei Shi (SIN)
Georgia Williams (NZL)
Urska Zigart (SLO)

Alex Manly:
“I haven’t raced Brabantse before, but I have heard it’s going to be very hard. I’m really excited to get out racing again with the team as we’ve had some really promising rides together recently. After Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, were we raced aggressively and in many moves, we are feeling really confident in ourselves and looking forward to having another opportunity to go for the win.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director:
“The team had a really great race in Amstel riding well together, in many breakaway moves and all showed that they have a good level, so we are looking forward to Wednesday’s race as it is another good opportunity for us.

We’re close to that win and podium after many consistently strong rides in the last races.”

2022 Brabantse Pijl Race details:
Men – Wednesday, 13th April: Leuven to Overijs, 204.8km
Women – Wednesday, 13th April: Vlaams-Brabant to Overijs, 141km

Photo: Chris Auld

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