The undulating one-day race usually sees a reduced peloton fight out the finish and last year Warren Barguil (FRA) sprinted to an impressive eighth place.
Barguil returns this year with a year’s race experience at WorldTour level under his belt, along with seven teammates with several different cards to play.
It will be the first race of the season for all of the Team Giant-Shimano riders competing, including John Degenkolb (GER) who will be looking to stretch his legs and see how is form is after the winter break.
The race also marks both Dries Devenyns (BEL) and Chad Haga’s (USA) first race since joining the team.
Team Giant-Shimano’s coach for the race, Christian Guiberteau (FRA) said: “It’s the first race of the season for all the guys here so our main target is to get the cohesion back after a break, and make sure everyone is working well together. It is also important for the guys to get their heads back into race mode.
“It’s a tough race here, always up and down but without any real mountains so anything can happen. It depends on what the weather is doing too. All the guys have had a solid winter so it will be good to see them racing again.”
Warren Barguil (FRA)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Thomas Damuseau (FRA)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
Chad Haga (USA)
Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)
Albert Timmer (NED)
Christian Guiberteau (FRA).