Belgian racing continues for ORICA-GreenEDGE at Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde

Sat 26 Mar 2016

ORICA-GreenEDGE continue the build up to the Tour of Flanders with the mini stage race, Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, starting in the West Flanders region of Belgium on Tuesday 29th of March.

The race forms part of the Flemish cycling week and is traditionally used as a form finder for teams ahead of the Ardennes clasisics. Last year’s race was won by Alexander Kristoff (Team-Katusha) with Luke Durbridge finishing in seventh place overall after a strong performance in the individual time trial on the last day of the race.

Sports director Laurenzo Lapage hopes the team can perform well in this year’s race after a mixed start to the Spring Classics campaign.

“Luke (Durbridge) is in really good shape at the moment, he has a good history of results in this race and the team will be working for him in this year's edition,” said Lapage.

“We saw earlier this week that we can still learn some things about positioning within the race, especially on these narrow Belgian roads. Hopefully we can find the good positions and hold onto them. If we can get Luke into the right place at the key moments of the race, then realistically we can target a good result here.”

“Overall the attitude within the team is very positive. We have a good squad here who have been together for the last week racing around Northern Belgium, we are clear with our objectives and we hope everything goes to plan when the race starts.”

The first two days follow long undulating routes around the North West Flanders region with both days around 200kilometres in length. The third and final day is split into two separate events. The morning race is a little like a grand prix, 111kilometres of fast and aggressive racing close to the border with North Eastern France, often with strong winds coming in from the English Channel. The afternoon race is the individual time trial, 14kilometres against the clock. This is where the face of the race can be changed completely.

Spring is historically a very busy period of racing across Northern Europe, it is important to go into these races with good preparation and hopefully some good form. The ORICA-GreenEDGE lineup has a mixture of youth and experience, after racing together in Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke and Gent Wevelgem in the last week.  Strong performances from Durbridge and Jens Keukeleire in Dwars door Vlaanderen have given the team confidence going into Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde.

The Three Days of De Panne starts on Tuesday 29th March in De Panne at 11:55am CET.


ORICA-GreenEDGE at Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde (29-31 March):

Sam Bewley (NZ, 28)

Magnus Cort (DEN, 22)

Mitch Docker (AUS, VIC, 29)

Luke Durbridge (AUS, WA, 24)

Jens Keukeleire (BEL, 27)

Luka Mezgec (SLO, 27)

Svein Tuft (CAN, 38)


Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde stages:

Tuesday, 29 March: De Panne to Zottegem, 198.2km

Wednesday, 30 March: Zottegem to Koksijde, 211.1km

Thursday, 31 March: De Panne to De Panne, 111.5km

                           De Panne Individual Time Trial, 14.2km