All photos: @GregVanAvermaet
The 'real' racing season begins with the Opening Weekend of the Spring Classics, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. Prestigious to win for any rider looking at the two races to get the first result of 2021 and excitement for the most rabid cobble fans through to Paris-Roubaix (April 11).
New-look AG2R Citroen will bring their Classics duo to both races; two-time Omloop winner (2016, 2017) Greg Van Avermaet and Oliver Naesen.
"We have made it clear that we have big ambitions and these two opening races are important. With Oliver and Greg, we have two great cards to play with a strong team around our leaders."
- Julien Jurdie, DS AG2R Citroen
Sunny skies ahead for AG2R Citroen? I hope so.
Sep Vanmarcke: New team, same ambitions
"EF wasn't always about the results. It's a different system. It was nice at the time, but after a number of years working that way, I wanted to get on a different track. Here, it is much more focused on the race and on the results.
I can take my chances here, and the team continues to believe in me. As long as I have a good level I think I have a chance of winning.
I know I've worked well during the winter and now I hope that everything goes well for the weekend and that I can play an important role in Omloop once again. I have already two stage races in the legs, which I believe will be quite an advantage for me compared to the guys who have only done one race or nothing at all. You can always try to replace racing with hard training, but you can't really replace that race rhythm completely, that's something you will miss. Both races I did were at a very high level and now I'm heading into the opening weekend in good condition and with confidence. I hope we can repeat what happened in 2012. It won't be easy, but it wasn't easy back then either."
-Sep Vanmarcke, Winner 2012 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.