Mitchelton-SCOTT women head back to the cobbles on Wednesday at De Brabantse PijlMon 9 Apr 2018
Known for the last two years as the Pajot Hills Classic, 2018 sees a name change for the Belgian one-day race as it moves under the umbrella of the Flanders Classics organisation as the elite women’s De Brabantse Pijl with Mitchelton-SCOTT looking forward to more classic cobbled action.
The 136.8kilometre race covers multiple cobble sections and also the famous Bosberg and Congoberg climbs before a flat finish in Gooik.
Belgian champion Jolien D’Hoore leads a versatile team alongside world time trial champion Annemiek Van Vleuten and Santos Womens Tour winner Amanda Spratt.
Australian Lucy Kenendy is having a solid first season with the team and will provide strong support with compatriots Jess Allen and Jenelle Crooks completing the line-up.
Jess Allen (AUS, 24)
Jenelle Crooks (AUS, 23)
Jolien D’Hoore (BEL, 28)
Lucy Kennedy (AUS, 29)
Amanda Spratt (AUS, 30)
Annemiek Van Vleuten (NED, 35)
Formerly known as the Pajot Hills Classic 2018 sees a name change for the one-day event where Mitchelton-SCOTT’s best result came in 2016 with Sarah Roy in 11thplace.
A solid race, broken into three parts with an initial loop of 21kilometres followed by an intermediate 56.4kilometres and three closing circuits of 19.8kilometres around Gooik which will be raced fast. With a strong chance of the race coming together for a sprint finish, positioning will be key as will awareness of attacks over the climbs.
Preparatory race for Mitchelton-SCOTT, but also an event with a good opportunity for a result.
Jolien D’Hoore – Belgian Champion:
“Even though it’s a new name on the calendar for 2018, it’s a beautiful race with some typical Belgian climbs like the Bosberg and Congoberg and also some sections of cobbles which will make for a challenging race and something slightly different ahead of the Ardennes.”
“We will go into the race with an open mind and expect everything. We have a strong and versatile team that is able to cope with every situation and we are looking forward to racing.”
Sport director Gene Bates:
“With some pretty big objectives coming up at the Ardennes Classics we will be using Wednesdays race as part of our final preparation and it will provide us with a good opportunity to get Amanda and Lucy back into racing.”
“Nevertheless, it’s a good course without being overly difficult and for Jolien and possibly Jess there is a great chance for us to get up and go for a result, there’s something of everything in there with some sharp climbs and cobbles to contend with that will make for a solid race.
“We’ve got a strong team together, but the emphasis will be on having a good hit out, coming through ok and looking ahead to the weekend.”
De Brabantse Pijl – Elite Women, 136.8kilometres, Wednesday 11thApril.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.