Team Dimension Data’s Merhawi Kudus will take on the steep Belgian cobbled climbs for the first time at Tour of Flanders tomorrow.
“I am really looking forward to starting on Sunday,” said Kudus.
“It is going to be a new experience for me but one I am really excited and motivated for.
“I remember racing on the cobbles at the Tour de France in 2015 and I surprised myself with my performance there.”
He added that with some big strong guys like Bernhard Eisel, Jay Thomson and Tyler Farrar around him, he hoped to arrive at the Kwaremont with the front group and then it would be all about seeing what the legs could do.
The African team will also rely on Scott Thwaites, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Nic Dougall and Youcef Reguigui to show their colours at the head of affairs and ultimately, with the goal of standing on the podium.
The race runs over 260km through the Flanders fields and incorporates all the famous Belgian cobbled climbs.
The business end of the race will surely start just after the 200km mark has been passed, with still eight of the 18 climbs to come.
The Kwaremont, Paterberg and Koppenberg climbs will be the most talked about ones as they will each be completed more than once and are the expected climbs for where the race winner will make his move.