Series of one-day events held in the Benelux countries await CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders. They will kick off the campaign with Ronde van Drenthe (1.1), on March 11th.
The Dutch race features some twisty and narrow roads around Hoogeveen. The total distance of 206,2 kilometers includes also cobblestone sections and short but steep climbs. There are five, 800-meter long “bergs” with maximum gradient of 21%, in the opening 20 and final 50 kilometers of racing. The finishing stretch is flat though. The profile doesn’t seem extremely difficult, but what makes the race hard is the high pace, which often shatter the field. Last year Jasper Asselman took the win after a sprint from a 20-man group.
The Polkowice-based squad will take on this event with a 7-man roster. Jonach Koch will make his debut in the orange colors and will be joined at the start by U23 riders, Michał Paluta, Patryk Stosz and Kamil Małecki, as well as Adrian Kurek, Frantisek Sisr and Jakub Kaczmarek.
Similar lineup will take part in the next two races, Belgian Danilith – Nokere Koerse (1.HC) and Handzame Classic (1.1). The only addition will include Alan Banaszek. The 19-year old showcased some strength in his legs lately, winning International Rhodes Grand Prix in Greece few days prior. He will have the opportunity to present his skills to a bigger audience, as the Belgian races often end with a mass sprint.
Danilith – Nokere Koerse suits mostly fast riders, but its profile doesn’t reflect that. There are 192 kilometers to cover (from Deinze to Nokere) and the final 100 consist of seven, 15-kilometers laps with 350-meter long cobbled hill Nokereberg (avg. 6%). The finish line will be set on the top of this “berg”. The race will be broadcast live on Eurosport 2 (from 15:00).
Profile of last 3km and the entire route
Handzame Classic will kick off in Bredene. After 142 kilometers of racing it will enter Handzame, but the finish will be located in the neighboring Kortemark. The last 50 kilometers will run on a 16-kilometer circuit with Ruidenberg climb. This is not the only place where riders will have to get off their saddles, as there are more over 15% hills on the menu. The organizers haven’t forgotten about the cobblestone sectors either. Those parts of the course are often used by the strongest teams to increase the pace and break the bunch apart.
Profile of initial 142km stretch and 16km circuit
All three of the races are made for Belgian and Dutch riders. Out of 131 editions which have been held so far, only 11 of them have been won by a person from outside these two countries.
Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Ronde van Drenthe (11.03, 1.1): Michał Paluta, Jakub Kaczmarek, Kamil Małecki, Jonas Koch, Adrian Kurek, Frantisek Sisr, Patryk Stosz
Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Nokere Koerse – Danilith Classic (15.03. 1.HC, Eurosport 2) and Handzame Classic (1.1, 17.03): Michał Paluta, Jakub Kaczmarek, Kamil Małecki, Alan Banaszek, Adrian Kurek, Frantisek Sisr, Patryk Stosz, Jonas Koch