Quick-Step Floors aims for Abu Dhabi victories with Elia Viviani and Julian Alaphilippe
Feb 19 2018 09:30 pm CET

Quick-Step Floors aims for Abu Dhabi victories with Elia Viviani and Julian Alaphilippe
Quick-Step Floors aims for Abu Dhabi victories with Elia Viviani and Julian Alaphilippe
Quick-Step Floors jersey ©Sigfrid Eggers

Quick-Step Floors is going to the Abu Dhabi Tour with a squad that will aim to improve from last year, when it took one stage victory and the best young rider jersey.

The five-stage race will have three opportunities for the sprinters and Elia Viviani will be the main man for the team on those days. Julian Alaphilippe, who got the best young rider jersey and finished in 5th position in the GC last year, will try to improve from his result.

"Elia has shown great form coming into the first season with the team, scoring several wins and notching up a few podium spots," said sports director Rik van Slycke. "Fabio (Sabatini) and Michael (Mørkøv), who played important roles in his early success for the team, will join him in Abu Dhabi alongside Alvaro (Hodeg), who is coming in from a solid start to the season in South America.

"With these guys around Elia, we hope he can be a contender for the first three stages. For the final one, we’ll have two cards in Julian and Enric (Mas), while James (Knox) will make his pro debut and ease into the team after a small knee injury prevented him from racing in Spain, at Murcia and Almeria."

Viviani has shown to be in a good shape and expects more victories in this race. "After the Dubai Tour I spent a nice week at home, recovered and continued with my training," he commented. "I came out of that race in a good shape, with confidence and a super feeling with my teammates, and now I’ll look to take all these factors into the Abu Dhabi Tour.

"Unlike Dubai, I’ll not race for the GC, but the goal is to fight for a stage win and help the climbers on our team as much as I can on the final day."

Alaphilippe expects to get a good result in the General Classification at the Abu Dhabi Tour. "I am happy to go there for the second time. We have a strong team and will try to get some solid results," he explained. "I did a good GC last year and it would be nice to repeat that, although it will be different now with the ITT. But I am motivated and will do my best."

The full line-up:

Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)
Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (COL)
James Knox (GBR)
Enric Mas (ESP)
Michael Mørkøv (DEN)
Fabio Sabatini (ITA)
Elia Viviani (ITA)




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