Orange squad to try to keep the momentum going in Belgian races

After a convincing win of Frantisek Sisr in Sunday’s Ronde van Drenthe, Czech will take on another one-day 1.HC races – Danilith Nokere Koerse (March 14th, 1.HC) and Handzame Classic (March 16th, 1.HC).

Danilith Nokere Koerse is not what you call a typical race for sprinters, due to undulating and typical for Belgium course. In the past it’s been the sprinters though, who were battling for the victory in a bunch finish. 13 punchy climbs await the riders and among them there is Nokereberg – 350m long, cobbled, avg. 5,7%, max. 7% – which will be covered as many as seven times, including at the finish. Uphill sprint will suit powerful riders, not only pure kings of speed.

The “orange squad” should be ready for any kind of scenario. It will be led by Ronde van Drenthe winner, Frantisek Sisr, who was also 11th in Nokeren last year. Alan Banaszek, who was 9th in 2017, was not nominated to the lineup, since him and Szymon Sajnok, will travel to Malaysia to compete in stage event, Tour de Langkawi.

One of the fastest riders on the team, Jonas Koch, as well as Kamil Gradek, Paweł Bernas and Kamil Małecki will remain in the Benelux countries, while Banaszek and Sajnok will be replaced by Patryk Stosz and Adrian Kurek.

Danilith Nokere Koerse will be broadcast live on Eurosport 1, from 15:00.

(up – full profile, down – profile of final 3km)


There will be a gentle change in the lineup for another 1.HC Belgian race, Handzame Classic (March 16th) since Paweł Franczak, who is returning to competition after an illness, will jump into the roster to substitute Kamil Małecki.

CCC Sprandi Polkowice sprinter will have a chance to test his form on fast, but tricky route, which includes number of short “bergs” and cobblestone sections. The longest climb of the day – Sulferberg, which is located at kilometer 80, is 1,7km long and the steepest ascent of the race reaches 13% of gradient.

We might see a lot of action going on on 500-meter long Ruidenberg (max.8%), which is part of finishing 18-kilometer lap, that will be tackled four times in the second part of the race. The finish in Kortemark, just few kilometers away from Handzame, is flat though.

TV coverage of this event will also be available, on Eurosport 2, from 15:30.


(top – full profile, down – profile of finishing lap)


Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Danilith Nokere Koerse (14.03, 1.HC): Frantisek Sisr, Jonas Koch, Paweł Bernas, Adrian Kurek, Kamil Gradek, Kamil Małecki, Patryk Stosz

Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Handzame Classic (16.03, 1.HC): Frantisek Sisr, Jonas Koch, Paweł Bernas, Adrian Kurek, Kamil Gradek, Paweł Franczak, Patryk Stosz