Julian Alaphilippe will pin on a number again for the 61st edition of the hilly one-day race.
Last year, just a couple of weeks after the season resumed following a lengthy lockdown, Florian Sénéchal took his second victory for Deceuninck – Quick-Step at Druivenkoers Overijse after attacking over the top of the final hill and dropping his last companion from a small group that had managed to give the slip to the peloton. The Frenchman won’t line out to defend his title, as he is currently riding La Vuelta – where he has played an important role in the team’s two stage victories so far – but the Wolfpack won’t be short of options for Thursday’s 192km race.
Featuring twenty climbs, some of which will be tackled also one month from now at the World Championships, the Belgian one-day race should witness plenty of action, with the succession of short hills promising to make an important selection before the final part, where the riders won’t have a moment of respite as they’ll take on six ascents in the space of just 22 kilometers.
For Julian Alaphilippe, Druivenkoers Overijse will mark one of his final appearances in the rainbow jersey he conquered last year in Imola, and the World Champion will be joined by Ronde van Vlaanderen winner Kasper Asgreen, Dries Devenyns, Belgium Tour and Danmark Rundt victor Remco Evenepoel, Mikkel Honoré, Iljo Keisse and Pieter Serry.
“Druivenkoers Overijse is an important race, because it puts on the table a hard course with some sections that will be ridden also at the Worlds, and this will make things more interesting than usual. We have a strong team and we will try to play an important role, as we always do. It won’t be easy, but we go to the start with a lot of confidence and motivation”, explained Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Rik Van Slycke.