Julian Alaphilippe and Remco Evenepoel are set to ride Belgian one-day race Druivenkoers Overijse as a recon for the upcoming World Championships on the same roads.
Reigning world champion Alaphilippe will be joined by young Belgian star Evenepoel and Tour of Flanders winner Kasper Asgreen, as part of a strong Deceuninck - Quick-Step team to tackle to hilly race and to ride some of the roads used at this year's World Championships.
The roads around the town of Overijse are just south-west of the 2021 Worlds host town Leuven, with Druivenkoers taking place on August 26, making it an ideal recon race for some big names.
Team sports director, Rik Van Slycke said: "Druivenkoers Overijse is an important race, because it puts on the table a hard course with some sections that will be ridden also at the Worlds, and this will make things more interesting than usual.
"We have a strong team and we will try to play an important role, as we always do. It won’t be easy, but we go to the start with a lot of confidence and motivation."
Druivenkoers Overijse 2021 will be raced over 192km, starting and finishing in the Flemish town of Overijse, featuring 20 punchy categorised climbs, including the Moskesstraat, the Taymansstraat, and the Bekestraat, all over which will feature in the elite men's road race at the World Championships.
The men's race at the 2021 Worlds, scheduled for the final day of racing on September 26, will be raced over 268km from Antwerp to Leuven in Flanders, featuring 2,500 metres of climbing.
This will be Alaphilippe's first race since finishing sixth at the Clásica San Sebastián in late July, where his team-mate Mikkel Honoré took an impressive third.
Alaphilippe had a mixed Tour de France after taking the first stage, wearing the yellow jersey for a day before Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) took over. He then went into a series of breakaways but was unable to get a second stage win.
Evenepoel on the other hand has come back in flying form after having to abandon his first Grand Tour, the Giro d'Italia earlier this year.
He has since retained his title at the Belgium Tour, scored a top-10 in the Olympic time trial and put in a very impressive performance to win the Tour of Denmark, lapping the peloton on the queen's stage.
The 21-year-old Belgian will be keen to get close to top form heading towards a home World Championships that will be held just 48km from his hometown. .
As well as Evenepoel and Alaphilippe, the Danish duo of Asgreen and Honoré will surely be in the mix for the win both at this race but also the Worlds.
Both riders have had strong results this season with Asgreen taking the Tour of Flanders and the E3 Saxo Bank Classic as well as his nation TT title and Honoré pulling off fifth overall at the Tour of Poland behind team-mate and overall winner, João Almeida as well as multiple top-10 results across the season and a win at Coppi e Bartali.
The rest of the team is made up of three of the strongest domestiques around with Iljo Keisse, Pieter Serry and Dries Devenyns set to ride in a support role.
Deceuninck - Quick-Step team for Druivenkoers Overijse 2021
Julian Alaphilippe (Fra)
Remco Evenepoel (Bel)
Kasper Asgreen (Den)
Mikkel Honoré (Den)
Dries Devenyns (Bel)
Pieter Serry (Bel)
Iljo Keisse (Bel)
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