Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl has announced its squad and noticeably absent is newly-crowned British national champion Mark Cavendish. On Friday, Denmark will become the tenth different country to host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. The Tour will spend three days in the Scandinavian country before traveling to France. Then, the peloton will tackle the rough cobblestones of the north.
In a statement, the team posted Fabio Jakobsen is slated to make his first appearance at the Tour de France. He’ll count on the experience of one of the peloton’s best lead-out men, Michael Mørkøv. The 25-year-old, who in his past seasons with the Wolfpack has won five Grand Tour stages, all at the Vuelta a España. He won’t be the team’s only debutant at the race. There two other young riders, Andrea Bagioli and Mikkel Honoré, riding the Tour for their first time.
Lots of Danes on 2022 team
Kasper Asgreen is the third rider from Denmark on Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s roster for the Grande Boucle. Mattia Cattaneo was 12th overall at last year’s edition, is also on the team. He is joined by Tim Declercq and Yves Lampaert, who is returning at the Tour after three years.
“We have riders who can support Fabio, riders who can climb, but who can also do something in the breakaways. Kasper, Yves and Michael will form a solid lead-out train for Fabio. He’s proved how fast and strong he is in the sprints and will now get to discover Le Tour. Tim will be the guy to help him not only on the flat, but also in the mountains,” Tom Steels, one of the team’s directeur sportifs said.
Steels went onto say that Declercq will also take care that Fabio makes it inside the time limit. “Mattia is very flexible, has more experience now and can go in some breakaways, where Andrea and Mikkel can support him. Mikkel has improved a lot since joining the team and deserves his place in the team, while Andrea is a winner and has shown he has the mentality to compete with the best.”
Cav named as back-up
However, the Manx Missile was named as one of two reserve riders along with Florian Sénéchal. Also missing from the eight-man Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team is Julian Alaphilippe.
The world champion, Alaphilippe has been a stage winner at the past four editions. However he has just returned to racing last weekend at the National Championships, two months after his Liège–Bastogne–Liège crash.
“I am disappointed to not be at the Tour de France this year. I have a natural affection for the race, from my days in the yellow jersey over the past three seasons. I have had my stage victories and many other great memories with my teammates,” the 30-year-old French rider said.
“To miss another opportunity to wear my beautiful rainbow jersey in my home country is very sad for me. I knew that this decision would be difficult for the team to take. I completely understand this,” he said. “I too don’t want to be at the start if I can’t be at my best level. I want to wish the best of luck to my Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl teammates.”