Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux returns to the Tour of Leuven - Memorial Jef Scherens (1.1) this Sunday, a race in which the team ended five times on the podium since the victory of Dimitri Claeys in 2016.
Next to its new name, also the parcours underwent a major change. The 200 kilometer race is not only ridden on a local lap though the city anymore, but heads towards Overijse after the start like at the latest World Championships.
In total, not less than 37 short hills have to be covered, with for example the cobbled Mommaertstraat and Bekestraat on the double loop in Overijse before heading back to the six local laps.
This classic is the first race of the season in the colors of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux for 19 year old Dries De Pooter (13th in 2021), who starts his second period as a trainee with the team.
The young rider will race alongside former winner Dimitri Claeys, who was the best in the edition of 2016 after finishing second the year before. Just like Claeys, his compatriots Aimé De Gendt, Kévin Van Melsen and Loïc Vliegen rode the Tour de Wallonie last week.
The tandem Andrea Pasqualon and Alexander Kristoff returns into competition under the direction of Valerio Piva since the Italian rider launched the former European champion to third place on the Champs-Elysées.