Julian Alaphilippe continues his Classics campaign at the Belgian one-day race.
Last race before De Ronde, Dwars door Vlaanderen takes place this Wednesday over a 184.1km course comprising three cobblestone stretches and thirteen hills, including the Taaienberg – where Deceuninck – Quick-Step ripped the peloton apart at last week’s E3 Harelbeke – Kruisberg and Nokereberg, which will be the last hurdle of the day, with the riders cresting it just 11 kilometers from home.
The 75th edition of the World Tour event will mark Julian Alaphilippe’s debut there, in what will be the UCI World Champion’s second outing of the season on the cobbles after Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, where he contributed to Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 12th Opening Weekend victory.
A stage winner earlier this month at Tirreno-Adriatico, Alaphilippe will be joined by newly-crowned E3 Harelbeke champion Kasper Asgreen, Davide Ballerini – the first Italian in eight years to triumph at Omloop – Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, two-time winner of the race (and the only rider in history to score back-to-back victories) Yves Lampaert and Florian Sénéchal.
“Wednesday brings another appointment with the cobbles and we are looking forward to it. It will be an important race for Julian before Flanders, the combination of short climbs, narrow roads and nervousness of the bunch being just what he needs to get in the race mode for Sunday’s big rendez-vous. The condition of all our guys is there, the team comprises several riders who can attack from the distance, while in Davide we have a fast rider for the finale, so we are confident we can rack up another good result”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Tom Steels.