Deceuninck – Quick-Step are sending a strong line-up to the RideLondon – Surrey Classic on Sunday, including last year’s runner up Elia Viviani who recently completed his set of Grand Tour stage wins at the Tour de France and will be once again among the top contenders if the race ends in a bunch sprint on The Mall, as was the case in the last three years.
Britain’s only World Tour event has seen a number of changes for this year’s edition, from the start of the race, moved to Bushy Park, and the total distance – which has been shortened to 167 kilometres – to the difficulty of the course, very likely to play even more against the sprinters now that the peloton will tackle Box Hill (2.5km, 5%) on five occasions, last time with some 50 kilometres left to the finish.
Victorious on two stages and the points classification at the Adriatica Ionica Race, Alvaro Hodeg is set to make his debut at the RideLondon – Surrey Classic, where Deceuninck – Quick-Step will rely also on Paris-Roubaix reigning champion Philippe Gilbert, Iljo Keisse, Davide Martinelli, Danish Champion Michael Mørkøv and Zdenek Stybar, a winner of both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 Harelbeke in 2019.
“The race will be different this year, because we go up the Box Hill two more times, and the bunch could get shattered to pieces there. We will try to control the race as much as possible with Iljo and Davide, and in case there will be a regrouping and a mass gallop, we have both Elia and Alvaro, who’ll be supported by Michael. If not, Philippe and Zdenek, who is returning to competition, are our guys for a good result on Sunday”, said sports director Klaas Lodewyck.