Five stages in four days, including two uphill finishes, will make for some exciting racing in France.

Tour Poitou-Charentes, a race won by our team in 2015, will run this year between 27-30 August, and will have at the start the presence of a strong and versatile Deceuninck – Quick-Step squad, consisting of Shane Archbold, Rémi Cavagna, Ian Garrison, Alvaro Hodeg, Iljo Keisse, Stijn Steels, and Bert Van Lerberghe.

The race will get underway Thursday with what should be a sprinters’ stage; the trek from Montmoreau to Royan contains some short hills, but these aren’t expected to have any significant impact on the peloton, given that they feature with more than 30 kilometers to go. One day later, another mass gallop will be on the cards, this time in Echiré, before the race shifts its attention to the general classification contenders for the weekend.

An uphill finish in Jaunay-Marigny early in the morning, followed by a 22.5km individual time trial taking place on some lumpy, twisty and undulating roads late in the afternoon promise to open up some gaps in the overall standings, ahead of the final showdown in Poitiers, just twenty-four hours later, when another punchy finale will await the riders.

“We have a very solid team, a team that can take on a circuit race like Poitou-Charentes, with some sprints and short climbs. Alvaro will rely on a powerful lead-out train, comprising many experienced riders, while our National ITT Champions Rémi and Ian have a nice shot of coming out of the time trial with a good result. We are confident we can be protagonists and do a strong race, so we look forward to it”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Geert Van Bondt.

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