European Champion Elia Viviani will lead the charge for the team at the four-day event.
Okolo Slovenska (18-21 September) will be our penultimate outing in a stage race this season, and the Wolfpack is determined to be again one of the top protagonists, just like last year, when we captured three stage wins and the general classification. Victorious in over 60 races this season, our team for next week’s event will be headlined by European Champion Elia Viviani, who will have three opportunities to add to the already 27 victories nabbed in the past two years in the Deceuninck – Quick-Step jersey.
Kicking off on Wednesday morning with a flat half-stage around Bardejov, Okolo Slovenska will continue in the afternoon with a 6.8km-long individual time trial held in the same town. Dotted by five classified climbs, stage 2 is expected to shake up the general classification, although the last of these ascents is crested more than 60 kilometers from the finish. The final two days should belong to the sprinters, who will battle out in Hlovovec and Senica.
Joining Elia on the well-drilled seven-man squad that will look to continue Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s exceptional season will be Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels, who won the prologue at last year’s edition, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert, ace lead-out man Michael Mørkøv, Florian Sénéchal and former Czech Champion Petr Vakoc.
“It’s a very good race as preparation towards the World Championships and we are going there with the goal of nabbing some solid results with Elia, who will soon call it a season. He is motivated, just as are all the other guys, most of whom will travel from here straight to Yorkshire, and will thus get in Slovakia a nice opportunity to test the legs and hone their form”, said sports director Geert Van Bondt.
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