Sam Bennett and defending champion Remco Evenepoel will be in action at the 90th edition of the event.
Two years ago, Remco Evenepoel captured his first GC victory in the pro ranks after a solid all-round performance, becoming the youngest rider to triumph at the Belgium Tour, one of the oldest stage races in the world. Now, the 21-year-old will be again at the start of the race scheduled between 9-13 June as he looks to gradually ease back into competition after his Giro d’Italia debut was cut short by a crash.
The most successful sprinter of the season so far, with seven victories – five of which came in World Tour races – to his name, Tour de France green jersey winner Sam Bennett will also pin on a number for the Belgium Tour, which will consist of five stages, including an individual time trial and two hilly ones, that will shape the general classification. Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s squad for this week’s race will be completed by Davide Ballerini, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert, Michael Mørkøv and Zdenek Stybar.
“We expect a hard race, with already the opening day – which will take the peloton through the Flemish Ardennes – being a tricky one, where positioning will be key. The ITT will also be important, but the toughest stage is going to be the one in Hamoir, where the relentless up-and-down parcours and steep gradients can lead to some big gaps in the standings”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Tom Steels. “We have a strong and motivated team for this race. Sam comes with a very good lead-out and will look to be in the mix on the flat, while concerning the GC we’ll just take it day by day and see how things unfold.”