Alaphilippe makes long awaited return to racing at GP Cerami

Frenchman leads Quick-Step Floors in first race since April

Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe will make his return to racing at the GP Cerami. The Quick-Step Floors rider hasn't raced since April with a knee injury knocking him out of the both Ardennes Classic and Tour de France.

Alaphilippe, 24, has just 22 race days in his legs so far in 2017. Fifth place overall at Abu Dhabi Tour, a stage win and fifth on GC at Paris-Nice along with third place at Milan-San Remo suggested Alaphilippe was headed for his best season yet. With his return confirmed, Alaphilippe explained he can't wait to pin on the race numbers for the Belgian one-day race.

Alaphilippe's last race was the Vuelta al Pais Vasco when he abandoned on stage 5 due to his pre-patellar lesion knee injury.

"I am really looking forward to returning to the peloton and race again! I would not say I am more motivated than normal because I'm always motivated, but I really miss racing, and it is something special for me to come back," said Alaphilippe who has been training in Livigno and taking in the Stelvio and Gavia climbs.

"I need some kilometers and hours of racing to get the speed back in my legs. I do not have any expectations for myself, and just want to enjoy, help my teammates and then we will see what goals I can set for the rest of my season."

Joining Alaphilippe for the 210.8km race from Saint Ghislain to Frameries will be Rémi Cavagna, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert, Maximilian Schachmann and Pieter Serry.

Jelle Wallays of Lotto Soudal won the GP Cerami last year ahead of Jerome Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).

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