Aggression the name of the game for ORICA-SCOTT at Gent-Wevelgem

Thu 23 Mar 2017

The 79th edition of Gent-Wevelgem takes place this Sunday and ORICA-SCOTT head into the cobbled one-day classic with a fast and focused team looking to race aggressively.

Traditionally known as “the sprinters classic” due to the flat run into the finish, eyes will be on Tour of Abu Dhabi stage winner Caleb Ewan and teammate Magnus Cort as the Australian outfit aim to position their fast men for the finale.

“We have started our classics campaign in a really positive fashion after yesterdays performance in Dwars door Vlaanderen,” said Sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “For Gent-Wevelgem we will be looking to protect Caleb and Magnus should the race come down to a sprint finish, which historically it tends to do.”

“A lot will depend on how the guys have recovered from the last few days, Caleb did very well in San Remo, but it was his first time in a race of that length and he is still young. Nevertheless we are positive and the team is racing very well at the moment so we can approach this race with confidence.”

A strong lead out train will support Cort and Ewan with Mitch Docker, Roger Kluge and Luka Mezgec all present and between them already showing signs of good understanding after success in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Clasica de Almeria and Abu Dhabi.

“It’s vitally important that we race aggressively on Sunday,” explained Lapage. “We have a race plan and we are super focused on achieving our objectives, but it is a very difficult race and the experience of our road captain Mathew Hayman and Jens Keukeleire will be crucial, along with the strength of Chris Juul Jensen.”

“Jens knows these roads inside out and his local knowledge will serve us very well. It gives us another option should the race pan out differently to how we anticipate. The middle section will be very hard, twice up the Kemmelberg and we need to be attentive there.

“The team is very confident and we have done our research, of course the weather can also play a part here at this time of year as we saw with the wind yesterday, but the moral amongst the guys is good and I’m pleased with how our preparation has gone.”

An old and historic one-day cobbled classic, Gent-Wevelgem is raced across the wind swept flatlands of West Flanders and crosses over into the hills of Northern France.

Covering close to 240kilometres and including the Kemmelberg, Monteberg and Baneberg within 12kilometres of each other, the triplet of climbs is interspersed with technical descents before the flat 35kilometre run to the finish.

ORICA-SCOTT at Gent-Wevelgem (Sunday 26th March):

Magnus Cort (DEN, 24)

Mitch Docker (AUS, 31)

Caleb Ewan (AUS, 22)

Mathew Hayman (AUS, 38)

Chris Juul Jensen (DEN, 27)

Jens keukeleire (BEL, 28)

Roger Kluge (DE, 31)

Luka Mezgec (SLO, 28)

Photos courtesy of ©