The racing gets underway with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (1.1HC) which the team did a reconnaissance of last week when testing their new Giant Defy Advanced SL bikes and Vittoria tyres.
The race is punctuated by cobbles and short, sharp climbs over the 198.6km route starting and finishing in Gent. Team Giant-Shimano bolstered their classics line-up for 2014, adding Dries Devenyns (BEL) who lives and trains on the Flemish roads.
After a strong and fruitful period of racing and preparation, including racing in the early season French races, the team are in good shape to hit the ground running.
“All the guys lining up in Belgium have shown that the shape is there and have been working well as a team in their last races,” said coach Marc Reef (NED). “In the Flemish races team work will be really important.
“The recon was also used to set everyone’s positions up and all the riders have been really happy with how their classics bikes feel and with the new equipment, which will give them confidence for the races.
“The testing last week got everyone reacquainted with the route and where the difficulties lie. We have a strong and experienced line-up and the goal is to come here with as many guys as possible in the final to set up Devenyns and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA).”
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (1.1HC)
Bert De Backer (BEL)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
Koen De Kort (NED)
Ramon Sinkeldam (NED)
Tom Stamsnijder (NED)
Albert Timmer (NED)
Marc Reef (NED) & Rudi Kemna (NED).