Road

Eight Tour of Flanders wildcard picks announced

The eight wild-card picks for the 2015 Tour of Flanders have been announced, including Tyler Farrar's MTN-Qhubeka team

The Ronde Van Vlaandren (Tour of Flanders) race organization announced on Thursday its eight wildcard picks for the 2015 event.

This year’s race, which will take place on April 5, will include MTN-Qhubeka, Team Roompot, Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela, Bora-Argon 18, Europcar, Cofidis, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, along with the 17 UCI ProTeams.

“The Tour of Flanders is probably my favorite race in the whole world and it is the ultimate Flemish classic,” said American Tyler Farrar, following the announcement of his MTN-Qhubeka team’s inclusion. “It has everything in it, cobblestones, the short steep climbs, small roads and sometimes bad weather. It’s the quintessential Belgian classic, and with MTN-Qhubeka getting into the race it is a fantastic stepping-stone for us. I look forward to going there to race for the victory.”

The Ronde will be raced on a 264.2-kilometer route from Brugges to Oudenaarde, taking in 19 climbs, including three times up the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg.

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) will seek to defend the title he earned in 2014, and break the current five-way tie at three wins, which he shares with Belgian favorite Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick-Step).

“The record is more interesting than winning again,” Cancellara said. “I’ve done other historical things, but I can’t always win like last year.”