Bob Jungels and Elia Viviani are to lead a versatile Deceuninck – Quick-Step squad at the 2019 Giro d’Italia.
The Belgian super-team will target stage wins with Viviani and hope for another glowing general classification performance with Jungels.
>> Save up to 31% with a magazine subscription. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
Quick-Step have also confirmed that Britain’s James Knox will start his first Grand Tour when the Giro departs from Bologna on Saturday (May 11).
Italian national champion Viviani returns to the Giro for a second consecutive year, having won four stages there last season.
Jungels has shown huge potential in the Italian Grand Tour, winning the youth classification in 2016 and 2017 while finishing sixth and eighth overall respectively.
Sports director Davide Bramati said: “We come here with two leaders: Elia Viviani – who backed by a very strong and experienced sprint train, will look to win stages in front of his home crowd, this time in the national Italian champion’s jersey – and Bob, who is going to have another tilt at the GC.”
The route for the 2019 Giro features three individual time trials, which will suit multiple Luxembourg national TT champion Jungels.
Traditionally the Giro is not considered ideal territory for the sprinters, with few stages suited to the fast men.
The 2019 edition features five stages likely to come down to a bunch gallop, attracting plenty of powerful rivals for Viviani.
Quick-Step will face competition from Bora-Hansgrohe’s Pascal Ackermann, Groupama-FDJ’s Arnaud Démare, Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) in the flat finishes.
The GC battle is likely to bring fireworks, with former winners Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) going up against the likes of Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).
On Jungels’ chances in the overall, Bramati added: “There’s a number of stages which should be important in the fight for the overall – from Ceresol Reale and Courmayeur to the one featuring both the Gavia and the Mortirolo later in the race – but the plan is to take it day by day and see what happens.”
Knox will be making his Grand Tour debut as part of his second season at WorldTour level.
The 23-year-old, who rode for Team Wiggins in 2016 and 2017, has shown huge promise this season.
He finished in the top-10 overall at the UAE Tour and most recently finished fourteenth overall against world-class competition at the Tour de Romandie.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step line-up for Giro d’Italia 2019
Eros Capecchi (Ita)
Mikkel Honoré (Den)
Bob Jungels (Lux)
James Knox (GBr)
Fabio Sabatini (Ita)
Florian Sénéchal (Fra)
Pieter Serry (Bel)
Elia Viviani (Ita)