Remco Evenepoel will lead what is a strong Deceuninck-QuickStep squad at this week's Tour de Pologne, attempting to continue what has so far been a 100 per cent record in winning stage races overall in 2020 for the young Belgian, having sewn up the Vuelta a Burgos title at the weekend, having previously won both the Volta ao Algarve and the Volta a San Juan ahead of the sport's coronavirus-pandemic shutdown.
Accompanying the 20-year-old when the Tour de Pologne (August 5-9) starts in Chorzow in southern Poland on Wednesday will be the Belgian WorldTour team's experienced road captain Dries Devenyns, Dutch road race champion Fabio Jakobsen, British climber James Knox, Italy's Davide Ballerini and Mattia Cattaneo, and Florian Sénéchel, who won last month's GP Vermarc Sport.
It is an entirely different squad to the one that supported Evenepoel at last week's Vuelta a Burgos, where Irish road race champion Sam Bennett was the team's main sprinter, and won stage 4 of the five-day race, in addition to Evenepoel's victory on stage 3, which put him into the leader's jersey.
Twenty-three-year-old Jakobsen will take on sprint duties in Poland, while Cattaneo, Ballerini and Knox, in particular, will support Evenepoel during the tougher climbing stages, which come on days three and four of the five-day race.
"We start again with a very strong and motivated squad," Deceuninck-QuickStep sports director Klaas Lodewyck said in a team press release on Sunday. "Fabio is our man for the sprints. He's excited to be back racing, and we're confident he is capable of getting a good result, while with Remco we will go again for the GC.
"Everyone saw what he did in Burgos, and he will again have some nice support here, and an excellent road captain in Dries," he said. "We'll just take one stage at a time and see what happens."
Evenepoel will continue to hone his already excellent stage-racing ability as he looks ahead to the first Grand Tour of his career when he tackles the Giro d'Italia later this season, for which he's already featuring among the favourites.
"I promise you, the best is yet to come," he posted on Twitter after taking the Vuelta a Burgos title at the weekend.
Vuelta A San Juan 🇦🇷 ✔️Volta ao Algarve 🇵🇹 ✔️Vuelta A Burgos 🇪🇸 ✔️Now let’s keep it safe so we can continue racing this season 🙌🏼 I promise you.... the best is yet to come 🤟🏼🐺 #fortheloveofsport #thewolfpack #staysafe Photo’s: Getty Images pic.twitter.com/MPR8r8SendAugust 2, 2020
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