Milan-San Remo winner Vincenzo Nibali will lead Bahrain-Merida at this weekend’s Tour of Flanders as he bids to win back-to-back Monuments. It will also mark the first time that the Italian has lined up at the Belgian classic.
Nibali will be supported by a strong line-up and the team has outlined the roles that each of his team mates will take on during the race. According to Directeur Sportif Tristan Hofmann, in the opening 100 kilometres and until the race passes the Oude Kwaremont for the first time, it will be Luka Pibernik, Borut Božič and Ivan Cortina who have the job to cover any breakaway attacks containing more than 10 riders.
From that first ascent of the Oude Kwaremoent until the 210-kilometre mark and the Oude Kwaremont again, it will be the responsibility of Kristijan Koren and Sonny Corbrelli to try to go with any moves.
Nibali will aim to conserve as much energy for the final 55 kilometres with Heinrich Haussler aiming to stay with the Italian in the closing stages. Haussler has performed well at Flanders in the past, finishing 2nd back in 2009 behind Stijn Devolder and 6th in 2013.
Team Bahrain Merida lineup for the Tour of Flanders: