Mitchelton-SCOTT women excited for the first edition of the Driedaagse de PanneTue 20 Mar 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT women are excited to have the opportunity to race a new WorldTour event for 2018, a one-day addition to the Belgian classics, Driedaagse de Panne.
With a team suited for all possible outcomes, the six-rider squad are ready to tackle the new race which follows on from the established men’s race.
The inaugural edition of the women’s event covers a 120kilometre route from Brugge to De Panne before finishing with two local circuits, 15kilometre in length giving a total distance of 151kilometres.
Unlike the men’s race, the women’s event is fairly flat with no main climbs on the profile, but with a distance of 151kilometres and the potential for wind, it should certainly be challenging addition to the calendar.
Despite the name Driedaagse de Panne, the men’s event has been reduced to just one-day and likewise the women’s race is a stand alone one-day race, which is welcomed by the team as a mid-week hit out, following on from Sunday's Trofeo Alfrefo Binda and ahead of Gent Wevelgem. All three events have WorldTour status making for an important and busy week for the team.
As a new race, the outcome is still unknown, although the fairly flat race looks to be one for the sprinters and Mitchelton-SCOTT bring in Belgium sprint start Jolien D’Hoore a strong option if the race comes down to a bunch kick. However with a team filled with riders who can succeed from breakaways or force moves if there is the presence of strong wind, all possibilities are covered.
Jolien D’Hoore - Belgian Champion
“It’s exciting to have a new classic in Belgium. It has always been a good prep race for the men for Flanders and now we can be a part of it, it’s really something I look forward to."
“I expect a nervous race with lots of wind. A typical Belgian race where we can enjoy ourselves in echelons. I’m feeling really good. The form is there, I just haven’t been able to turn it into results but I’m sure if we continue like we have raced so far with the team, some big results will come for us.”
Martin Vestby - Sport Director
“We have a really strong team for the whole Belgium period and for a race like this we have girls for both breakaways but also for a sprint with Jolien.
“It is nice to have a race alongside the men’s and it is a race that has been around in Belgium for a long time and has been a big part of the sprint classics, so it is exciting that the girls can also race now in De Panne.”
“It is a long race but I don’t think the length will play such a big part in the outcome. The biggest thing here is that they will be riding along the coast in Belgium so the wind will be the main thing. I am quite sure it can come down to a sprint, if the wind is strong then of course it can be a reduced bunch.”
“For us it is a race that would be great to finish in a sprint but we also have strong riders like Elvin and Spratt, so we have a lot of riders to play with if it does come down to a reduced group or a breakaway.”
Thursday, 22nd Mar: Brugge - De Panne, 151.7km
Photo courtesy of Getty Images