The European racing season kicks off this Saturday with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, a 125 km Flanders classic race that starts and finishes in Gent, Belgium and is famous for its cobble stones.
After a good showing at the Ladies Tour of Qatar, Hitec Products today announced that they are ready to battle the cobbles, the cold and their 190 competitors.
“The motivation is good and we have the right riders in the right place. I’m very, very positive,” said Hitec products' sport director Davy Wijnant.
Hitec's eight-women line-up will include up-and-coming Italian rider Rossella Ratto, Norwegian riders Miriam Bjornsurd and Cecilie Johnsen and the five riders who raced Ladies Tour of Qatar last month: Chloe Hosking, Emilia Fahlin, Thea Thorsen, Tone Hatteland and Elisa Longo-Borghini.
The team pre-rode the course Wednesday and sprinter Chloe Hosking is confident in the team.
“It’s the first race in Europe and for a lot of girls the first race of the season so everybody is nervous and wanting to prove something,” said Hosking. “The race has everything. Steep climbs, cobbled climbs, flat cobbled sections! It’s usually carnage. I think only the strongest and smartest girls will be battling it out for the win, but I think our team has some great cards to play."
Hosking will be facing some tough competition. Check out Sarah Connelly's recent post on who to watch and how to follow the race.