Preview G.P. Monseré - 2nd mache Lotto Cycling Cup

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On Sunday 5 March, our race, five days after the GP Le Samyn, forms the second manche of the Lotto Cycling Cup. Our race, in memory of the sadly lamented cycling hero Jean-Pierre 'Jempi' Monseré starts in Ichtegem and ends in Roeselare, the birthplace of the world champion who died in 1971. Australian top sprinter Caleb Ewan starts as top favourite, Frenchman Hugo Hofstetter could grab the lead in the Lotto Cycling Cup in West Flanders on Sunday.

Ichtegem succeeds Hooglede as our starting place. The team presentation starts at 8.30am on the Market Square, where the work of art 'Ode aan de Vlaamsche Leeuwen', made of steel, takes centre stage and refers to the municipality's glorious cycling past. At 10.05 a.m. the starting shot will sound and 15 minutes later the official start will follow in Kortemarkstraat. The finish - expected around 15h - remains in Roeselare, but the arrival will move from the Beversesteenweg to the Kaaistraat, at the head of the Vaart (Roeselare-Leie Canal) near " Maselis" company.


After a 25 km start, the riders will complete three big local loops of 57.8 km around Roeselare, good for a race total of 198.4 km. That local loop includes four hills: the Hoogledeberg in Hooglede (600 metres at 2.6% average), the Ruidenberg in Edewalle-Kortemark (700 metres at 2.1%), the Lookhuisstraat in Ichtegem (1.2 km at 1.5%) and the Gitsberg in Gits (400 metres at 3.2%). The Lookhuisstraat and the Gitsberg are cobbled hills. The Gitsberg is likely to be the race's critical junction, as the top of the final climb is just 9 km from the finish in Roeselare.

With Alpecin-Deceuninck, Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, Jumbo-Visma, Soudal-Quick Step, Arkea-Samsic, DSM and Cofidis, seven WorldTour teams will be at the start in Ichtegem, but the top favourite will come from the camp of Lotto Dstny. If the hills do not cause the peloton to split, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Dstny) may be the man to beat. The Australian will start with jersey number 1 and could succeed his teammate Arnaud De Lie on the honours list.

Ewan will have to deal with compatriot Sam Welsford (Team DSM), who won two sprint victories at the Tour de San Juan in January. Briton Ethan Vernon (Soudal-Quick Step) - already good for three wins this year - Frenchman Hugo Hofstetter (Arkea-Samsic), Norwegian Kristoffer Halvorsen (Uno-X) and Italians Jakub Mareczko (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Luca Mozzato (Arkea-Samsic) and Niccolo Bonifazio (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) are also podium contenders when it comes to sprinting. Belgian fast men to keep an eye on include Gerben Thijssen (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Bert Van Lerberghe (Soudal-Quick Step) and Piet Allegaert (Cofidis).

Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Deceuninck) is also listed with a spotlight. The former Belgian champion is one of the most offensive riders in the peloton, but also has a strong final shot. Last year, De Bondt finished second in a bunch sprint ahead of Hofstetter, Thijssen and Vernon. Other riders who could potentially make the difference on the hills and cobbled sections include former Dutch champion Timo Roosen (Jumbo-Visma), Jelle Wallays (Cofidis) and young Frenchman Mathis Le Berre (Arkea-Samsic), last weekend's revelation.

If Hugo Hofstetter finishes in the top six in Roeselare on Sunday, he will in any case take over the leader's jersey in the Lotto Cycling Cup from Milan Menten, who won the GP Le Samyn in Dour on Tuesday. Hofstetter finished second in Le Samyn and together with Vino Braet, who finished ninth, is the only rider from the top 10 of the GP Le Samyn who will also be there in the Maselis GP Monseré on Sunday.



The Lotto Cycling Cup is a regularity criterium featuring ten one-day races of character from the UCI Europe Tour in Belgium and the Netherlands. The Maselis GP Monseré is the second heat and can be watched live on Sporza on Eén and on Eurosport from 13h40 on Sunday 5 March.




Milan Menten 16 points
Hugo Hofstetter 14
Edward Theuns 13
Alberto Dainese 12
Luca Mozzato 11
Soren Kragh Andersen 10
Pierre Gautherat 9
Mike Teunissen 8
Vito Braet 7
Andreas Stokbro 6