Julian Alaphilippe will definitely line up at the Clásica San Sebastián after a career-defining ride at the Tour de France.
The French superstar came within days of winning the 2019 Tour, only to be usurped by race winner Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) on the penultimate mountain stage.
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After a phenomenal run in the French Grand Tour, Alaphilippe will return to racing on Saturday (August 3) at the Clásica San Sebastián alongside Deceuninck – Quick-Step team-mate Remco Evenepoel.
Quick-Step sports director Wilfried Peeters said: “Clásica San Sebastián is always a nice and exciting race with a very hard part in the final. Coming just after the Tour means that many riders are still in form and can target the victory.
“We have a strong and motivated team, capable of playing several cards, but the plan is to take it one step at a time, see how the race unfolds and hopefully get a nice result at the end of the day.”
Alaphilippe is the reigning champion in the Spanish one-day race, which covers 226km of hilly terrain in the Basque Country.
With seven categorised climbs along the course, including the 1.9km-long 10.8 per cent average Murgil Tontorra in the final 10km, the race is well suited to puncheurs and quicker climbers.
Alaphilippe will ride alongside Belgian neo-pro star Remco Evenepoel and Enric Mas.
Tour de France winner Egan Bernal could also start the Spanish race, just as week after winning the Tour a 22-years-old.
Other contenders expected to start include Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team), Lotto-Soudal’s Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot, and Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates).
Deceuninck – Quick-Step squad for Clasica Sán Sebastián 2019
Julian Alaphilippe (Fra)
Remco Evenepoel (Bel)
Enric Mas (Esp)
Mikkel Honoré (Den)
Eros Capecchi (Ita)
Tim Declerq (Bel)
Dries Devenyns (Bel)