Our team returns at the start of the five-day race for the first time in 17 years.
The Tour of Luxembourg will be one of the last stage races of the season, and sticking to tradition, it will once again put on the table a hilly course, ideal for puncheurs and attackers, who’ll get plenty of opportunities to show themselves. Not just the countless hard climbs are expected to create gaps between the overall contenders, but also the 25.4km individual time trial in Dudelange that will take place on stage 4, over an up-and-down course.
First Portuguese winner of the Tour de Pologne, where he racked up two stage victories en route to his dominant GC triumph, João Almeida will be present in Luxembourg as he returns to action for the Wolfpack for the first time since the Deutschland Tour, having raced the European Championships in Trento in the meantime.
Third overall at the Tour de Romandie and runner-up at the National Championships this season, 27-year-old Fausto Masnada will make next week his first outing since crashing out of the Settimana Ciclistica Italiana more than two months ago and the Italian is looking forward to racing with the Wolfpack again.
“I’m feeling good and my condition is becoming better by the day, but with just one month of training in the legs I don’t know how my body will react on the first race back. What I do know is that racing again will help me reach a better level and I can’t wait for it. Two months ago, after my crash, I couldn’t ride my bike for one month. I recovered well since then, trained at altitude and now I am happy to be at the start of the Tour de Luxembourg”, said Fausto.
Mattia Cattaneo – the best placed Italian rider at the Tour de France – Dries Devenyns, Pieter Serry and Mauri Vansevenant will round out Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s team for the 81st edition of the race that was created in the same year as the Vuelta a España, 1935.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Klaas Lodewyck talked about the Wolfpack’s ambitions for next week: “We have a strong squad, with João and Mattia as our leaders, especially as the penultimate day will schedule that demanding individual time trial. Of course, we have to see first how well recovered they will be after the European Championships, but they come to the start motivated and we are confident they can do a good race and play a role in the general classification.”