PREVIEW: Bruges-De Panne

PREVIEW: Bruges-De Panne

"Hoping for wind, but we can win this race even without it


With three victories and eight podiums, Team SD Worx had a strong first racing month. Bruges-De Panne offers a new opportunity for the number one team in the WorldTour ranking. The squad hopes for wind, but with Lotte Kopecky and Lonneke Uneken they also have fast legs for the sprint. "We have a strong selection at the start. It would be nice to have windy conditions, but even without we will be competing for the podium," said sports manager Danny Stam. 

Linked race Classic Brugge-De Panne - Linked cyclists Lonneke Uneken Lotte Kopecky Christine Majerus Marlen Reusser Elena Cecchini

Team SD Worx is growing towards its top form for the important classics month of April. The team has already taken three victories and has been decisive in every race. In Brugge-De Panne the race is centred on the Moeren. If there is enough wind, the peloton can be pulled over. "In our selection there is the necessary know-how to pull echelons. At the moment they are giving wind force three, that might be enough," says sports manager Danny Stam.

My victory in EasyToys Bloeizone Fryslân Tour gives me confidence. The legs are good. If the puzzle falls together, this could be a great opportunity.

Lonneke Uneken

"We will try to make the race hard. That depends on the weather conditions and we don't have those in our hands", says Stam. "But even if a bunch sprint is unavoidable, we have enough fast legs in the team with Lotte Kopecky and Lonneke Uneken to compete for the win."

Lonneke Uneken secured her first win this season by convincingly winning a group sprint in the Easytoys Fryslân Bloeizone Tour. "That victory gives me confidence," says the young Dutch rider. "I don't see myself as a pure mass sprinter, but I am fast enough to compete for the win. Unfortunately, I had some bad luck so far this year. In Drenthe I was sick and I had two punctures in the race. Apart from that I can't be dissatisfied. The legs are just fine. A sprint would be a great opportunity for me. When everything falls into place, it could be a nice day."

Uneken is in her third year with Team SD Worx. "I notice that I am becoming more and more at ease with everyone. It all goes more automatically. I'm reaping the benefits of this in the races. Hopefully I'll be able to do the same in Bruges-De Panne. 

Sports manager Danny Stam concludes: "This is a beautiful WorldTour classic, the first on Belgian soil. We can play several pawns, so we go to De Panne with full confidence."

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