UAE Team Emirates will line-up this Sunday at the challenging Gent-Wevelgem with 2016 Paris-Roubaix champion Filippo Ganna looking to replicate another victory in northern Europe at the ‘sprinter’s Classic’.
Italian Filippo Ganna spoke ahead of the race: “I’ll be back in northern Europe after last year’s win at Paris-Roubaix. This is a tough course and I know there will be a lot to learn but I’m ready and excited for this new challenge.”
The 249.2 km day race is renowned for its strong crosswinds during the first 130km of flat fields, followed by numerous difficult ascents and technical descents.
The course has a total of 11 steep climbs, the final is the Kemmelber – a cobbled hill that reaches an incline of 23% at its steepest point. For the first time 5.2 km of the Gent-Wevelgem course will include three semi-paved, sloping country roads or tracks called ‘Plugstreets’.
At Gent-Wevelgem the wind, rain and low temperatures can be as brutal as the cobbles themselves. Sporting Director Mario Scirea commented: “Gent-Wevelgem is a very demanding race, especially if the weather conditions are bad. The wind affects the main group almost immediately and there is a huge push to get to the front positions at the start so riders can seize the crucial moments of the race.”