Spurtbom Elia Viviani is the leader of Deceuninck – Quick-Step in the Tour Down Under (15-20 January), the first WorldTour stage race of the season.
The Italian champion, who last year rit won in Australia, with Dries Devenyns, a Belgian aid. The rest of the selection consists of the Frenchman Rémi Cavagna, the Danes Mikkel Honoré, and Michael Morkov, the Brit James Knox and the Italian rider Fabio Sabatini.
“In the first place, we aim at stage wins with Elijah,” explains sports director Rik Van Slycke. “It would be a nice start of the year. He is as always very motivated, but it is waiting to see who was still at the start will appear. There are opportunities but the trail was also subject to changes. So wait for Willunga Hill is now on the last day. That will have an impact on the dynamics of the race.”
“We have a strong team”, continues Van Slycke. “In addition to Elijah, we have Dries, that the race knows, and James. He gets a free role for the classification if the legs are good. We view the day-by-day and see how everyone is reacting to the high temperatures in Australia.”