Mark Cavendish is set to race for the first time this season at the race he won back in 2015.
Sunny Andalusia will host one of the first one-day races of the season – Clasica de Almeria – which will run its 36th edition this year and is expected to play again into the hands of the sprinters. Three classified climbs – Alto de Celin, Alto de La Alqueria, and Alto de Fuente Marbella – will punctuate the first part of the course, but with the second half almost flat, it’s difficult to believe the attackers will manage to give the slip to the peloton.
Six years ago, Mark Cavendish claimed a convincing win at the Spanish one-day race, one of the 44 victories he scored during his first spell with the Wolfpack. Now, the 2011 World Champion will be back at the start, part of a strong Deceuninck – Quick-Step line-up which will include also “El Tractor” Tim Declercq, Alvaro Hodeg, Florian Sénéchal, Stijn Steels, Jannik Steimle, and Bert Van Lerberghe.
“Like every rider in these times I’m excited to get the season underway. We are fortunate that the races can go ahead and I’m even more excited to pull on the jersey of the Wolfpack once again and race with the boys. The fact it will happen at an event which brings back a lot of beautiful memories makes it even more special”, said Mark.
“Almeria is for all our riders at the start the first appointment of the year. It’s a very beautiful race that usually ends with a sprint. We have two guys who can be up there, Mark and Alvaro, and we will decide during the race what we will do. Tim, Stijn, Jannik, Florian and Bert carry a lot of experience and make it a strong line-up, capable of being prominent in both breakaways and final”, added Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Wilfried Peeters.