Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team aims high at Opening Weekend

The much anticipated Opening Weekend in Belgium is around the corner and Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team is racing the fast and furious Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday, February 26 and Le Samyn two days after.

February 24 2023

Our Swiss-registered team will line-up with a largely identical seven-rider roster for both races, including Italian Sprinter Matteo Moschetti, who started the season on a good note, notching the team’s first ever win at Clásica de Almería, earlier this month. 

Due to the lack of climbs in the last hour of racing Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne often lends itself to a reduced bunch sprint however, in the recent years, some daring solo attacks have managed to hold off the peloton and take the win.  

The race features 196.5 km and a total of 13 bergs in the Flandrien countryside, the last of which, the Kluisberg, comes with 52 km to the finish. From then on its mostly flat road into Kuurne with the final cobbled sector, the Beerbosstraat, featuring with 33 km to go. 

Le Samyn on Tuesday is a much flatter race but the toughness of the cobbled sectors on the finishing circuit is merciless, resulting in a natural selection amongst the peloton. The 209 km between Quaregnon and Dour are relentless and the wind often plays a factor in a race that’s aggressive from start to finish.

“This will be a good test for the cobbled classics”

“For Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne we have Matteo Moschetti as our sprinter but we’re also looking to race freely and getting in the mix in the breakaways, coming into the final, with riders like Tobias (Ludvigsson). Matteo is in good condition so we will do our best to support him in this race. On Tuesday we have Le Samyn, which will be the first good test for the cobbled classics. It’s a hard race and difficult conditions. We won’t have a clear leader and this will be a race to approach like a real classic, be aggressive and pursue several possibilities,” said Aart Vierhouten, Q36.5 Pro Cycling team Sports Director. 

Sprinter-friendly Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne?

Matteo Moschetti will make his racing debut at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. He will be a protected rider for the team and supported by the experienced Jack Bauer and Tobias Ludvigsson. The roster is completed with Kamil Malecki, Alessandro Fedeli, Antonio Puppio and MTB World Gold medallist Filippo Colombo, who lines up with the Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team jersey for the very first time this season.

For le Samyn the squad remains largely the same with just one scheduled change: Cyrus Monk will race in the place of Alessandro Fedeli.

For fast man Matteo Moschetti this weekend will bring a new experience. The largely sprinter-friendly Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne presents an opportunity for the 26-year-old Italian to test himself in the Flandrien bergs and cobbled roads. 

“I’m really focused on Sunday”

“I’m really excited to be racing KBK for the very first time. Normally, it’s one of the Belgian classics that can end in a bunch sprint and I’m really looking forward to test myself in the Belgian roads on this hard, long race. Le Samyn I did already last year and it’s also a hard race. I’m really focused on Sunday and then we’ll see how I’m going and how to approach Le Samyn. I also think it will be great for the team to get this first experience in the Flanders cobbles looking ahead at our participation in E3 Saxo Classic and Ronde van Vlaanderen,” said Matteo Moschetti. 

32-year-old Tobias Ludvigsson will race KBK for the fourth time and his experience will be crucial to the team. 

“I did Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne a few times. Last year I was up there in the final attacks with some key riders, but we got caught just before the finishing circuit. I think this year it will once again come back together for a sprint finale. There we hope to do well with Matteo Moschetti. But nothing is guaranteed, you need to be attentive to all the attacks in the pre-final and be ready to follow if some big moves go in the final climbs. For Le Samyn it will be my debut in this race, and it looks like a really hard one, especially the last 50 km where positioning is key. I’m feeling good after the race in Alpes Maritimes and am really looking forward to these two Belgian Classics,” concluded Ludvigsson.

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne lineup: 

Jack Bauer (NZL)Filippo Colombo (SUI)Alessandro Fedeli (ITA)Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)Kamil Malecki (POL)Matteo Moschetti (ITA)Antonio Puppio (ITA)

Le Samyn lineup: 

Jack Bauer (NZL)Filippo Colombo (SUI)Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)Kamil Malecki (POL)Cyrus Monk (AUS)Matteo Moschetti (ITA)Antonio Puppio (ITA)