With 26 wins already accumulated so far in 2019, Belgian powerhouse team Deceuninck-QuickStep will head into the upcoming Amgen Tour of California carrying a roster stacked with riders who can add several more victories to the tally.
Fabio Jakobsen will take the reins on the sprint stages, starting with the opener in Sacramento on May 12. The 22-year-old Belgian, who has three wins so far this season, will be joined in the race by Tour of Flanders runner-up Kasper Asgreen, Danish champion Michael Mørkøv, Argentine champion Max Richeze, Rémi Cavagna, Tim Declercq and Zdenek Stybar.
"Fabio will be our main man for the bunch sprints, where he’ll be guided by Michael and Max, with Tim and Kasper the guys in charge of controlling the peloton," said Deceuniunck-QuickStep director Wilfried Peeters.
The seven-day WorldTour race will throw more than 20,000 metres of climbing at the peloton, including a difficult day on stage 2 to South Lake Tahoe and then reaching a crescendo with the queen stage to Mt. Baldy on the penultimate day. Sprinters will have three or four opportunities, while plenty of mid-stage climbing will provide opportunities for breakaway specialists.
"Zdenek and Rémi will have some freedom, and we’ll see what they can do on this tough parcours," Peeters said.
The 2019 race will also visit Rancho Cordova, Stockton, Morgan Hill, Laguna Seca Raceway, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, Ventura, Ontario, and Santa Clarita before the finish on May 18 in Pasadena.
"We are happy to come back every year at the start of the Tour of California, the race that takes place in the home country of our long-time sponsor Specialized, with a stage even finishing in Morgan Hill, where Specialized is based," Peeters said.
Deceuninck-QuickStep for Tour of California: Kasper Asgreen, Rémi Cavagna, Tim Declercq, Fabio Jakobsen, Michael Mørkøv, Maximiliano Richeze, Zdenek Stybar