Today starts the 3 Days of West Flanders stage race. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will once again return to the Belgian race after picking up a stage win at last year’s edition of the race. Racing gets underway with a 7km prologue today followed by 2 road stages over the weekend.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will have to go into the race one rider short as Injury and Illness affect the team. Jens Zemke explains, “The team is working well and we always start a race to win. One of our challenges though is we are struggling with health problems at the moment, that is the reason we are not able to bring a complete team to the start. Kristian has had to go join the team in Italy to replace Linus, who is ill. Martin Wesemann and Ferekalsi Debesay are both out with broken bones. Bradley Potgieter will only return to racing later this month after his injury lay off.”
“Despite this I think we can still get a good result here this weekend. If you look at Samyn we were very visible all race and we had 2 riders in the top 10. This is a good result because a lot of World Tour teams were at the start. So we will see how our boys go in the TT today but for sure we will have our chances, when they come we are ready to take them,” continued Zemke.
With 8 World Tour teams and number of Belgian riders taking to the startline, racing will be fast and intense, particularly if the weather plays up a bit too. The Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders will be led by Gerald Ciolek with Ignatas Konovalovas, Jay Thomson, Jaco Venter, Martin Reimer, Andy Stauff and Johann van Zyl making up the rest of the team.
3 Days of West Flanders (Belgium) – (7-9 March/UCI 2.1)
Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Andreas Stauff (GER)
Martin Reimer (GER)
Johann van Zyl (RSA)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU)
Jaco Venter (RSA)
Staff: Jens Zemke (Sports Director), Dr Frederik van der Colff (Doctor), Bastian Buffel (Soigneur), Nico Beyens (Soigneur), Jim Bryan (Mechanic), Werner Lenk (Mechanic), Stevie Christaens (Mechanic)