Gilbert kickstarts 2019 season at Tour de la Provence

Deceuninck-QuickStep looking for stage wins in French race

Philippe Gilbert will start his season at the Tour de la Provence next week, headlining a Deceuninck-QuickStep team that is looking to add to the four victories that they’ve already racked up in 2019.

Gilbert is building towards the Classics where he hopes to revive his ‘strive for five’ challenge of winning all the monuments. This will be the first time that he has ridden the four-day Tour de la Provence, which begins on Thursday, February 14.

Joining Gilbert will be Belgian national champion Yves Lampaert, who is also riding for the first time this season. The remainder of the team is a mixture of youth and experience with Rémi Cavagna, who started his season at the Tour Down Under, Kasper Asgreen and Florian Senechal, alongside Tim Declercq and Pieter Serry.

Deceuninck-QuickStep have already been on the top step of the rostrum this season and they’re eyeing up a number of stages to increase their tally, starting with the opening day prologue.

"After a nice training camp in Algarve, all the riders are sharp and ready to start in La Provence, a well-organised race which schedules on the opening day an ITT that suits several of our riders. Powerhouse Tim Declercq will keep the break under control the following day and hopefully we’ll be in the mix for the stage victory, in case it will come down to a bunch sprint,” said directeur sportif Brian Holm.

"As always, we are motivated and will fight for stage wins and the general classification with our strong rouleurs and puncheurs. The hilly and winding course is very much to our team’s liking, so we are really looking forward to kicking off things in a couple of days."

The Tour de la Provence runs between Thursday February 14 to Sunday, February 17.

Deceuninck-QuickStep for Tour de la Provence: Kasper Asgreen, Rémi Cavagna, Tim Declercq, Philippe Gilbert, Yves Lampaert, Florian Sénéchal, Pieter Serry.

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