British sprinting star Cavendish has rejoined his old team having previously raced for Quick-Step in 2013-15 and will be back in action on Sunday (February 14).
The Clasica de Almeria in the Andalusia region of Spain traditionally favours the sprinters and is a race where Cavendish has had his own success, winning the 2015 edition during his first spell with Quick-Step.
Cavendish, 35, said: “Like every rider in these times I am excited to get the season underway. We are fortunate that the races can go ahead and I’m even more excited to pull on the jersey of the Wolfpack once again and race with the boys. The fact it will happen at an event which brings back a lot of beautiful memories makes it even more special.”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step will have a number of options in their squad for this weekend, as Alvaro Hodeg is another strong sprinter.
The rest of the team will consist of Florian Sénéchal, Tim Declerq, Stijn Steels, Jannik Steimle, and Bert Van Lerberghe.
With 183km to cover from Puebla de Vicar to Ruquetas del Mar the racing could favour a team with multiple sprint options.
The course also features four categorised climbs in the middle section, including a tough 5.7km, 4.6 per cent gradient second category ascent at 40km into the day.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Wilfried Peeters said: “Almeria is for all our riders at the start the first appointment of the year.
“It’s a very beautiful race that usually ends with a sprint. We have two guys who can be up there, Mark and Alvaro, and we will decide during the race what we will do. Tim, Stijn, Jannik, Florian and Bert carry a lot of experience and make it a strong line-up, capable of being prominent in both breakaways and final, so we’re looking forward to Sunday”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step squad for Clasica de Almeria 2021
Mark Cavendish (GBR)
Tim Declercq (BEL)
Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (COL)
Florian Sénéchal (FRA)
Stijn Steels (BEL)
Jannik Steimle (GER)
Bert Van Lerberghe (BEL)