Fresh off their 66th win of the season at the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro in Germany on Thursday, Deceuninck-QuickStep will head home to Belgium to try and add a 67th victory on Saturday at the Tour de l’Eurométropole.
The 176.7km one-day race from La Louvière to Tournai features 11 classified climbs, including the Côte d’Ere inside 5km to go. Nevertheless, the finale lends itself to a bunch kick if the sprinters' team can keep things together over the climb.
In the previous three years since the event converted form a stage race to a one-day test, it has been taken my Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) last year, Daniel McLay (Arkea-Samsic) in 2017 and Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) in 2016.
Deceuninck-QuickStep will field a similar roster to the successful Münsterland line-up, with sprinter Alvaro Hodeg leading the charge alongside Mikkel Honoré, Iljo Keisse, Davide Martinelli, Florian Sénéchal, Jannik Steimle and Petr Vakoc, who subs in for Kasper Asgreen.
"This is a strong team with a couple of fast finishers who can achieve a solid result in Tournai," said Deceuninck-QuickStep sports director Klaas Lodewyck.
"As you know, most of the time this race comes down to a sprint, even if not from a large peloton. It all depends on the weather, but regardless of the conditions, we will race as we always do, aggressively and determined to be up there at the finish," Lodewyck said.
Deceuninck-QuickStep for Tour de l’Eurométropole: Alvaro Hodeg, Mikkel Honoré, Iljo Keisse, Davide Martinelli, Florian Sénéchal, Jannik Steimle and Petr Vakoc