The Spring Classics campaign finally comes to an end on Sunday, and Team Giant-Shimano can look back on a successful campaign including success, a podium spot at Paris-Roubaix, and the team’s first top-10 in an Ardennes Classic – but not before Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège that is.
Last Sunday at Amstel Gold Race, Simon Geschke (GER) rode to an impressive sixth place and Tom Dumoulin (NED) also showed his strength playing a key role in the final. The two will be joined by Warren Barguil (FRA) who looked strong before suffering an untimely dropped chain at the finish of Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday.
Daan Olivier (NED) finished 25th at Flèche Wallonne and starts his first Liège-Bastogne-Liège looking to play a key role in what will hopefully be a strong final classic of the spring for Team Giant-Shimano.
The full line-up for Sunday is: Warren Barguil (FRA), Thomas Damuseau (FRA), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Simon Geschke (GER), Cheng Ji (CHN), Daan Olivier (NED) and Tom Peterson (USA).
Warren Barguil (FRA)
“I can’t wait to race at Liège on Sunday and to learn what it takes to perform well in a race like this.
“In my eyes it is a very difficult race that you have to do several times before you can get a top result. The parcours is tough with the short sharp climbs but I prefer races like this.
“On Wednesday at Flèche I felt really good and and I have had a good period of training and racing coming into these races to get me into good shape, so hopefully I will have the same feelings on Sunday.”
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
“We have a strong and versatile team for Sunday with Simon, Warren and myself and together we should be able to do a good final.
“Last Sunday at Amstel I had good legs but I could still feel this on Wednesday at Flèche, but it turned out OK.
“The parcours for Liège suits me a bit better than Wednesday and I think the new finish with the Roche aux Faucons back in is good to provoke attacks so we will be ready for this and see if it is possible.
“Hopefully we can finish off the classics campaign with a strong race here. Our performances and results reflect how far we have come on as a team and it sets us up well for the rest of the season.”
Simon Geschke (GER)
“I’m really motivated and confident for Sunday’s race and want to finish our classics campaign on a high. With the team we have for Sunday we are capable of a good result with Warren, Tom or myself.
“Amstel showed me that I’m at a good level and that I can be at the finish with the best in these races. The parcours is a little heavier for Liège though but we have more than one option in the team.
“My goal is to finish in the top-10. But if I feel that I’m not good enough for that I will support Warren or Tom in the final.”
Christian Guiberteau (FRA)
“With Simon, Warren and Tom D we have three guys who have a good chance of a high finish in this race. They will have strong support from the rest of the team in getting them in position for the key climbs and keeping them out of trouble.
“With his sixth place at Amstel Gold Race, Simon showed that he has made a step up this season, following a strong winter period working closely with the coaches and also a tweak in his race programme coming this spring.
“Tom D and Warren are both still very young in their development but also are proving that they have the level to race at the front in the WorldTour. Tom is in great shape at the moment and Warren is very focused on having a good week in the Ardennes so we will hopefully be able to have a good race and challenge for a strong result.”