Sports director Kelvin Dekker is looking forward to it after a successful training camp in Spain.
The original plan was to do a twee-week training camp and then race the Vuelta Valenciana but the race was cancelled a few days before we left. We added the extra week to our training camp and had a really good three weeks together. The weather was brilliant, especially compared to the northern European snow and ice. Everyone feels like they took something good away from camp. We really have confidence ahead of the first race of the season.
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is the first race of the season for almost the entire peloton after the early cancellation. Last year the race was held in horribly cold and wet circumstances but this weekend the weather looks much better.
The course has been altered compared to last year as well. We start the cobbles and hills later than previous years because we make a big loop around Oudenaarde now. This gives the riders more time to ease into the race and the field will stay together longer. For four of our riders it’s not new to start here. For Ilse and Amelia that is different but I am confident all our six riders are doing well. We can really start the race with ambition. How far the ambition then reaches will be dictated by the race itself. We have a team that is levelled and everyone can take ger chance to get as far as they can.”