Ineos Grenadiers have announced the team that will be riding both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne this coming weekend. The British team is fielding a rather young looking squad, with one or two exceptions.
The likely leaders for the team are Italian Gianni Moscon, who put in a very solid performance at the Tour de la Provence, and neo-pro Tom Pidcock, who will be making his Classics debut.
Pidcock, who is only 21-years-old, made a quiet Ineos debut at the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var in mid-February, but will potentially relish the challenging cobbled climbs of Belgium.
With Luke Rowe on the other side of the world at the UAE Tour and Ian Stannard now retired, the support riders are a bit different to what we’re used to seeing for the super-team.
Firstly, the usuals: second place in the 2019 edition of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Owain Doull will be hoping he can carry that same form this year, and Michał Gołas is a veteran now and will be trusted with keeping the leaders in the right positions.
Another young British talent, Ethan Hayter, will also take to the start. The 22-year-old showed how good he was in 2019 with stage wins at the Tour de l’Avernir before an impressive victory at the Giro dell’Appennino in 2020.
And finally, Italian Leonardo Basso and Ecuadorian Jhonatan Narváez complete the squad. The latter looked to be in good form as he managed a top 10 result on stage two of the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var behind Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation).
The team will face a stiff challenge if they are to have a big impact on the two races as they are coming up against some of the strongest northern Classics riders in the business, albeit some missing the biggest of names.
Ineos Grenadiers have had a good past with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad more than Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne with the team winning on three occasions. Juan Antonio Flecha took the race in the team’s first year before Ian Stannard went and won two years in a row in 2014 and ’15, both in emphatic style.
Whether the young-guns of Ineos can perform to near the same level is something that will become clear over the weekend.
Ineos Grenadiers Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne line-up
Tom Pidcock (GBr)
Gianni Moscon (Ita)
Ethan Hayter (GBr)
Jhonatan Narváez (Ecu)
Michał Gołas (Pol)
Leonardo Basso (Ita)
Owain Doull (GBr)