Belgian team to target sprints with Fernando Gaviria and general classification with Bob Jungels
Colombian sprinter Gaviria will make his Tour debut this year, aiming to build on a phenomenal Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia in 2017 that saw him win four stages.
He’ll be supported by an experienced set of Classics style riders including Tour of Flanders winner Niki Terpstra, Belgian champion Yves Lampaert and key domestique Tim Declercq. Gaviria’s main lead out man Maximiliano Richeze will also ride after playing a crucial role in the 23-year-old’s Giro success.
Alongside them will be former world champion Philippe Gilbert, who’ll like the look of the Ardennes style finish on the Mûr de Bretagne on stage six.
Julian Alaphilippe will also fancy his chances on the hilly and smaller mountain stages, as well as providing support for Jungels in the mountains later in the race.
Despite the strong squad, Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner Jungels looks like he’ll have to do much of the work in the mountains by himself if he targets a high placing on GC, with the team looking more suited to the pavé day to Roubaix on stage nine.
“With the guys we have selected for the Tour, we bring a perfectly balanced squad consisting of younger riders and more experienced road captains,” said the team’s sports director Tom Steels.
“Common for them all is their world-class quality as bike riders, which they have proven countless times by being key players in the team’s successes.
“It is no secret that we aim to take a victory with Fernando, who will debut in the Tour as well. He amazed the cycling scene last year by winning four stages and the cyclamen jersey at the Giro d’Italia, but the level of the Tour is different with the presence of the best sprinters, lead-out men, domestiques and helpers in the world.
“For Bob and Julian, it will be a second meeting with the biggest race in the world. After two successful Giro campaigns, where he won the best young rider classification in both 2016 and 2017, Bob returns to the Tour with a goal to see how far he can go in GC. He has recovered well from the first part of the season and is ready for the challenge.
“The same goes for Julian, who was sidelined last year due to an injury. As one of the most versatile riders in the peloton, we can expect a bit of everything from this talented young Frenchman and we look forward to seeing him racing a Grand Tour on home soil again.”
Quick-Step Floors team for the 2018 Tour de France
Niki Terpstra (Ned)
Yves Lampaert (Bel)
Philippe Gilbert (Bel)
Fernando Gaviria (Col)
Bob Jungels (Lux)
Julian Alaphilippe (Fra)
Maximiliano Richeze (Arg)
Tim Declerq (Bel)