Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team geared up for Opening Weekend

This Saturday, February 24 marks the commencement of the European WorldTour season with the highly anticipated Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race. Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team is set to make its debut appearance at this prestigious Belgian event with a determined and diverse seven-rider squad, that includes no less than five debutants.

22 February 2024.

Together with the 1.Pro Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne the very next day, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad forms one part of what’s widely known as the ‘Opening Weekend’. 

Starting from the iconic ‘t Kuipke in Gent, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad takes place in the heart of the Flemish Ardennes and hits many of the same hellingen and bergs as the Ronde van Vlaanderen over 202kms.

Bringing a wealth of experience and local insight, classic specialist Tobias Ludvigsson will spearhead the team’s efforts in the pivotal role of road-captain. Joining the Swede are five promising debutants: Former Irish National Champion Rory Townsend, Cyrus Monk from Australia, Fabio Christen representing Switzerland, Nicolò Parisini hailing from Italy, and Kamil Malecki from Poland.

Rounding out the squad will be German Jannik Steimle who will be racing Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for the second time in his career.

With twelve climbs, including the formidable Muur van Geraardsbergen, and nine challenging cobble sectors, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad promises to be a true test of endurance and resilience, particularly with the anticipated adverse weather conditions over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the team’s classics campaign continues on Sunday with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, where Belgian Tom Devriendt, Canadian National Champion Nick Zukowsky, and Polish sprinter Szymon Sajnok will provide additional firepower for the flatter yet equally demanding race that starts and concludes in Kuurne.

“The first race in Belgium is always a shock to the system! You forget how fast and aggressive everything is, but it’s also exhilarating. I think that comes across to the people watching, and it’s what peaked my interest in cycling at the start! Seeing riders go blow for blow against one another, the terrain and the difficult conditions. Personally I hope to be amongst it in the final selections. It’s an exciting opportunity to be surrounded by experienced guys on the team who’ve done this race before,” said Rory Townsend, who will making his debut at both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

As Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team embarks on this prestigious double-header, we aim to make our mark on the Belgian classics scene, fueled by determination, teamwork, and a passion for competitive cycling.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad line-up:

Cyrus Monk (AUS)
Nicolò Parisini (ITA)
Jannik Steimle (GER)
Fabio Christen (SWI)
Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)
Kamil Malecki (POL)
Rory Townsend (IRL)
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne line-up:

Tom Devriendt (BEL)
Nicolò Parisini (ITA)
Jannik Steimle (GER)
Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)
Nick Zukowsky (CAN)
Rory Townsend (IRL)
Szymon Sajnok (POL)