Mark Cavendish and Alvaro Hodeg will lead the line for the team at the Spanish race.
Taking place three months later than it was originally planned, the 67th edition of the Vuelta a Andalucia (18-22 May) will be one for the climbers, with the first three days very likely to decide the overall winner. On paper, the last two stages will suit the fast men, but in fairness they won’t be that straightforward, meaning the sprinters’ teams will have to work hard in order to bring back the attackers, who will be favoured by the rolling parcours.
UCI World Team Classification leader Deceuninck – Quick-Step will go to the start with a team consisting of former New Zealand National Champion Shane Archbold, Mark Cavendish, who picked up his 150th pro victory at last month’s Tour of Turkey, Ian Garrison, GP Vermarc Sport winner Alvaro Hodeg, Stijn Steels, Jannik Steimle – who is making his first appearance since March’s Nokere Koerse crash – and Bert Van Lerberghe.
“We have a chance of getting some nice results next week. There are a few breakaway opportunities in the first days of the race, while later in the week we’ll be looking to Mark and Alvaro, who can be among the contenders if the stages will come down to a bunch sprint. We are happy to have Jannik back; it will be his first race in two months and he’ll take it day by day, as he builds up towards the second part of the season”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Tom Steels.