Mitchelton-SCOTT with cards to play at De Brabantse PijlMon 9 Apr 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT go into the 58thedition of De Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday with a strong line-up looking for a solid result as the build-up to the Ardennes Classics reaches fever pitch.
Covering 201.9kilometres and a staggering 27climbs the one-day event is the traditional opener of the hilly classics and traverses the provinces of Flemish and Walloon Brabant in Belgium, before three tough finishing circuits around Overijse that include five climbs per circuit.
South African road and time trial champion Daryl Impey leads a strong team alongside last year’s sixth place finisher Chris Juul Jensen with a wealth of support coming from Pais Vasco king of the mountains Carlos Verona and Australian climber Jack Haig.
Canadian time trial champion Svein Tuft mans the engine room with Australians Michael Hepburn and Rob Power completing the line-up.
Jack Haig (AUS, 24)
Michael Hepburn (AUS, 26)
Daryl Impey (RSA, 32)
Chris Juul Jensen (DEN, 28)
Rob Power (AUS, 22)
Svein Tuft (CAN, 40)
Carlos Verona (ESP, 25)
Twice running second in 2014 and 2015, Mitchelton-SCOTT have always recorded top ten results in the race with Juul Jensen the team’s best placed rider in 2017 with sixth place after a strong ride as part of an eight-man leading group that broke clear to contest the final.
It will be important to be up there at the late stages of the race when the parcours hits the challenging finishing circuits and positioning becomes crucial. With options to follow late attacks and also the sprint, the Australian outfit have cards to play.
“I would like to have a good race and finish the race feeling good for the weekend and Amstel Gold. Obviously if I feel good and I have good legs it would be foolish not to try for a result.”
“We have a good team and have various options which is great, I hope to feel strong and get confirmation that I am ready for the Ardennes. With the team being so strong, we can all play a part and have a small leadership role, we are fortunate to have that versatility.
“I really enjoy the Ardennes classics, they are so hard, but they are races that push me to my limit. It’s like getting punched in the face every climb, it just matters if you can handle it and I enjoy that part of it strangely enough.
“I haven’t had too much individual success at these races, but I have been part of many great results and I have seen the importance of them, I want to try venture a little into the unknown and give it a really good crack.”
Sport director Laurenzo Lapage:
“De Brabantse Pijl is always a hard race, it is a challenging parcours and can the outcome can be difficult predict due to the three closing circuits around Overijse. Those circuits include five climbs and it will be crucial to be in a good position there.”
“We have a strong team for Wednesday with good options for both the sprint and late attacks and it will be important to follow any dangerous moves over the climbs. Chris and Carlos are both in good shape and come into the race on the back of good performances, so we will be looking to them to be switched on and part of any late breakaway.
“With the Ardennes Classics just around the corner this race provides a great preparation for us and for Daryl, he is having a great season this year and has the right characteristics to be competitive if it comes down to a sprint on Wednesday.”
De Brabantse Pijl, 201.9kilometres, Wednesday 11thApril.
Photos courtsey of Getty Images.