World Champion Julian Alaphilippe will be in action next week.
Taking place between 11-14 February, the sixth edition of the Tour de la Provence will be the Wolfpack’s debut race this year. The four-day event will stick to the script, with the first two stages (finishing in Six-Fours-les-Plages and Manosque) suited to the puncheurs before a trip up Chalet Reynard (14.6km, 7.6%), some six kilometers shy of Mont Ventoux’s summit. On Sunday, despite some rolling roads between Avignon and Salon-de-Provence, there’s a fair chance the fast men will get their opportunity, as the race will prepare to bring down the curtain.
World Champion Julian Alaphilippe will be at the start of the Tour de la Provence for the first time since 2016, when the race held its first edition. The Frenchman, who in the past three seasons kick-started his campaign in South America, will be making his first appearance on home turf since last year’s Tour de France, when he was again in the spotlight thanks to a spectacular stage win, followed by a three-day spell in the yellow jersey.
Danish National Champion Kasper Asgreen will be as well on Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s seven-man squad, which is set to contain also Davide Ballerini, most combative rider of the 2020 La Vuelta Rémi Cavagna, Mauri Vansevenant, and Paris-Roubaix podium finishers Yves Lampaert and Zdenek Stybar.
“With so many races cancelled or postponed, we had to make some changes in our line-up, that’s why we have a Classics-orientated team for next week. We’re happy to get the season underway and to have Julian show his rainbow jersey for the first time this year in France. The guys are feeling good, they are all motivated, and we are confident that this solid squad is capable of fighting for some nice results. Our main goal is to give our best there and get back that racing feeling that we love and have missed so much”, said sports director Geert Van Bondt.