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Alaphilippe and Gaviria lead strong Quick-Step squad at Tour of Britain

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Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) wins stage 16 at the Tour de France in Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) attacks from the breakaway and leads the Tour de France stage 16 before crashing on the descent into Bagnères-de-Luchon

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) wins stage 16 at the Tour de France in Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) attacks from the breakaway and leads the Tour de France stage 16 before crashing on the descent into Bagnères-de-Luchon
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) takes first yellow jersey

Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) takes first yellow jersey
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bob Jungels in the breakaway during stage 19

Bob Jungels in the breakaway during stage 19
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) wins stage 18 of the 2018 Giro at Prato Nevoso, having been part of the day's successful breakaway

Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) wins stage 18 of the 2018 Giro at Prato Nevoso, having been part of the day's successful breakaway
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Max Richeze at 2018 Dwars door Vlaanderen

Max Richeze at 2018 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors) leads the peloton on stage 2 of the 2018 Tour of California

Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors) leads the peloton on stage 2 of the 2018 Tour of California
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The winner of the polka-dot 'king of the mountains' jersey at this year's Tour de France, Julian Alaphilippe, has been confirmed by his Quick-Step Floors team as a starter at this year's OVO Energy Tour of Britain, which starts in Wales on Sunday.

Alongside him will be the Colombian Fernando Gaviria, who's proved himself as one the fastest sprinters in the peloton this season, having won the opening stage of this year's Tour – and taken the first yellow jersey – before backing it up with a second stage win three days later.

Alaphilippe and Gaviria will lead an extremely strong Quick-Step squad at the Tour of Britain, which also includes rising stage-racing star Bob Jungels – who finished 11th overall at this year's Tour de France – and Maximilian Schachmann, who won the stage to Prato Nevoso at this year's Giro d'Italia, as well as a stage at the recent Deutschland Tour.

Completing the team will be Gavria's regular lead-out man for the sprints, Max Richeze, and former Giro stage winner Iljo Keisse.

Quick-Step directeur sportif Brian Holm – a noted Anglophile – is looking forward to again directing the team on the road at this year's race.

"There aren't a lot of races outside the Tour de France with so many spectators, but the Tour of Britain is one of them, and fans always make a very special atmosphere for all the riders and staff members," Holm said in a press release.

Alaphilippe heads to the race as a live-wire rider capable of winning on multiple terrains, and is unlikely to just sit back and hope that he can stay with the best riders.

The Frenchman – who's returning from a break following his win at the Clasica San Sebastian the week after the Tour de France – is likely to go on the attack whenever he can in an all-or-nothing bid to take the overall title.

The steadier Jungels will look for a high overall finish by riding consistently on the climbs, which include two ascents of the tough eastern side Whinlatter Pass in the Lake District on stage 6.

The previous day's team time trial up the western side of Whinlatter Pass should see Quick-Step challenge a strong Team Sky line-up that includes Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and Wout Poels.

Gaviria, meanwhile, will be a real threat in the sprints, although he won't have it all his own way. The Colombian can expect to face stiff competition from veteran sprinter André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Mitchelton-Scott fast-man Caleb Ewan, as well as from the domestic British teams such as Madison Genesis, JLT Condor and late replacements for Aqua Blue, Team Wiggins, who will be keen to showcase their abilities on the world stage.

"The parcours is really challenging, but we're going there motivated and with a strong line-up, ready to show why we are 'The Wolfpack'," Holm added, referring to the team's nickname.

"With Gaviria, who'll count on Richeze, we have a fair chance in bunch sprints, while for the hilly part of the race we'll look to Alaphilippe, Jungels and Schachmann.

"Last but not least, we are glad to have Keisse on the team – always an important rider, and an amazing road captain."

Quick-Step Floors for the Tour of Britain: Julian Alaphilippe, Fernando Gaviria, Bob Jungels, Iljo Keisse, Maximiliano Richeze, Maximilian Schachmann