On Whitsun 5 June, the peloton with 11 UCI WorldTeams will be lining up in the Jubelpark for the Brussels Cycling Classic. At the start, we will be welcoming back the 2020 winner Merlier. Will he get his revenge this year or will Campenaerts, Ackermann, Sheffield, Viviani or Hermans be too hot for him?
In 2020, Tim Merlier was the one to raise his hands under the Atomium. This year the fast sprinter is taking another shot at victory on the Houba de Strooperlaan. He is getting the support of Alpecin-Fenix’ Vermeersch and Vermote. Last year, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux saw De Gendt ride to second place on the Houba de Strooperlaan. The 2021 runner-up will be competing again this year. According to the provisional start list, he will be at the start alongside Kristoff, who showed earlier this year in the Scheldeprijs that he is not only a fast finisher, but can also do the job solo. The team can also count on the number two of Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Quinten Hermans.
The competition comes, among others, from INEOS Grenadiers. The British formation line up in the Jubelpark with Elia Viviani, who was second to Greipel in 2014. Also taking part: De Brabantse Pijl winner Sheffield and teammates Narvaez and Turner.
We are also looking forward to Lotto Soudal and the quartet Gilbert, Wellens, Campenaerts and Vermeersch towards the Muur-Bosberg duo. The third Belgian UCI WorldTeam, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, is counting on Keisse, Ballerini, Van Lerberghe and the young talent Vernon.
For UAE Team Emirates, Ackermann is aiming for a second win in Brussels, after winning in 2018 and taking second place a year later. He can count on teammate Hodeg. The colours of Bora-hansgrohe will be defended by Van Poppel. Israel Premier Tech is counting on Nizzolo and the experience of Sep Vanmarcke and the AG2R Citroen Team on its tandem Van Hoecke and L. Naesen. The other French teams, Cofidis and Groupama-FDJ, will be competing with Walscheid and the young duo Askey – Stewart.
Among the UCI ProTeams, riding for Arkéa-Samsic, are the fast legs of Hofstetter and Capiot. The Norwegian Uno-X Pro Cycling Team will be looking for success with Rasmus Tiller, one of their strong competitors in the spring, and the fast Halvorsen.
We will find out who eventually is victorious on the Houba de Strooperlaan, succeeding Remco Evenepoel, at a little after 5 p.m.