Four new riders will be on the team for the two races scheduled in around one month’s time.
January is going to be quite a busy month for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, who’ll kick off its 18th season in Australia, where the team will be at the start of three races in the space of just a few weeks. Two of these events will be Race Torquay, a new addition to the UCI calendar, scheduled on January 30, only four days after Australia’s National Day. Held in the iconic surf town on a 13.3km-long rolling circuit which the peloton will cover ten times, the race should favour the sprinters, although a late attack going all the way to the line can’t be taken out of the equation.
The riders will then remain in the beautiful state of Victoria for the sixth edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (171.1 kilometers), a World Tour event our team has won on two occasions (2015 and 2019). A hillier route, featuring three ascents of the demanding Challambra Crescent, should make for an exciting race which could go down to the wire.
Winner of the UCI World Team Classification in the past two seasons, Deceuninck – Quick-Step will field for the two events a strong and versatile seven-man team, capable of being in the mix: João Almeida, Shane Archbold, Irish Champion Sam Bennett, Mattia Cattaneo, Dries Devenyns, Iljo Keisse, and three-time Danish Champion Michael Mørkøv.
“We are really looking forward to these two races. Torquay is a new race, but we trained in the past in that area, so it’s not like it’s unknown to us. On paper, the up-and-down parcours shouldn’t be selective, as could very well be the case in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, where both attackers and sprinters will have a strong chance of fighting for victory. We won the latter twice, and in Dries and Sam we have two riders who can cover several scenarios, and that makes us confident we can come out of these appointments with some nice results”, explained sports director Rik Van Slycke.
Photo credit: ©Sigfrid Eggers