Team BikeExchange to kick-off Belgian classics block at Brugge-De Panne

Team BikeExchange return to Belgium this week ahead of a block of classics action as they take on the 45th Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne.

The one-day race typically comes down to a bunch sprint and the team is armed with fast finishing Luka Mezgec. The experienced Jack Bauer and Alex Edmondson will marshal the squad through the characteristic Belgian roads while second year pros Alexander Konychev and Barnabas Peak continue to get a taste of classics racing.

Team BikeExchange:
Jack Bauer (NZL)
Alex Edmondson (AUS)
Alexander Konychev (ITA)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)
Barnabás Peák (HUN)

Jack Bauer:
“I always look forward to the Belgian block of racing, it’s one of the hardest, most competitive blocks of the year, but very enjoyable at the same time and racing that I really look forward to.

“Of course starting with De Panne, it’s not a race of the same level as E3, Wevelgem or Flanders, but it’s still a pretty hard race in its own right, so it’s a good option for me and the rest of the boys to find our rhythm and the feeling of the peloton again after Tirreno, Paris-Nice or San Remo.

“So we’ll look to get things started on Wednesday and it should be a good chance for our boys with a fast finish, Mezgec and Groves, those style of riders, so we’ll go and play our cards and hope for a good result.

Mat Hayman (Sports Director):
“De Panne is the first in the series of races back in Belgium after ‘Opening Weekend’ and we come here with a strong team for these races that are coming, racing all the way through to Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

“It’s a good chance to get back into the routine of racing here. The race starts in Brugge and we head towards the coast, so there’s a chance of wind. There will be lots of typical Belgian racing, so it will be aggressive and we have a couple of fast guys on the team, so if it does come down to a sprint we have some options there.

“The main thing will be getting back into that mindset after racing either at Tirreno-Adriatico or Paris-Nice, getting back into the routine that we will need for the rest of the cobbled classics.”

2021 Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne – Race Details:
Wednesday, 24th Mar: Brugge – De Panne, 203.9km

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images.