Fernando Gaviria and Zdenek Stybar headline our squad for the 82nd edition of the hilly race.
Last World Tour event of the season on French turf, Bretagne Classic presents this year a more aggressive finale, which could reduce the sprinters' chances of fighting for victory at the end of a brutal course which can be split in two: a big 242.2km loop, at the end of which the riders will enter on a short but tough 14.7km circuit featuring five climbs, including the renowned Côte de Ty-Marrec (1500 meters, 5.5%), the race's final obstacle before the finish in Plouay, host of the 2000 World Road Championships.
Quick-Step Floors' squad for Bretagne Classic will comprise Eros Capecchi, Tim Declercq, Fernando Gaviria, Davide Martinelli, Maximiliano Richeze, Florian Sénéchal and Zdenek Stybar, one of the most consistent and aggressive riders at last week's BinckBank Tour, where he won the points jersey after a strong showing on both the flat and climbs.
"Bretagne Classic is a really tricky race to win. The organizers have made a tradition out of changing the route every year, so we are curious to see how things will unfold this time. The last climb will be very important and can be used by a small group of strong riders to jump clear in the final. We have seen at the past editions how some riders managed to give the slip to the bunch for a mere five seconds, so this can happen again, especially if the race will be full gas before the circuit", said Tom Steels ahead of Sunday's World Tour appointment.
Nevertheless, Quick-Step Floors' sports director expects the squad to be in the hunt for a good result: "We have several options for this race, meaning we can be up there regardless of the scenario. If Fernando has the legs, finds the race speed and copes with the long distance after his break, then he can be one of the main contenders. In case the action starts earlier, Zdenek can make the difference with his kick on the steeper slopes, after having displayed great form lately. Knowing we have several cards to play gives us a great deal of confidence."
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