Julian Alaphilippe headlines our squad for the first of the four appointments of next week in Italy.
Legnano, the site of the Lombard League’s improbable, but at the same time, resounding and game-changing victory over Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his imperial army in 1176, will once again host the finish of Coppa Bernocchi.
Starting from Parabiago and running over a distance of 186.5 kilometers, the Italian one-day race is built around the traditional Valle Olona circuit featuring the Piccolo Stelvio climb, averaging 6.6% over 1.5 kilometers. The peloton will tackle it seven times, and it's there that a selection could very well happen, despite the fact that its last appearance on the course comes with 30 kilometers to go.
Julian Alaphilippe, Andrea Bagioli, Dries Devenyns, Gil Gelders, Fausto Masnada – third here in 2021 – Mauro Schmid and Pieter Serry will be our seven riders for the 104th edition of the event that we won in each of the past two years, with Remco Evenepoel and Davide Ballerini, respectively. For Gil – who will turn pro with Soudal Quick-Step next season – this will be the first time he will race with the World Tour squad, after some impressive wins for our feeder team, two of which came in Italy: a stage at the GiroNextGen and the Ruota d’Oro.
“We have great memories from the Coppa Bernocchi. It’s one of the last races of the season for many of the guys, so we are motivated to go all-in for a good result. We have many options for Monday and we are confident in our chances. We’re also happy to have Gil with us, to see him in action before he joins our team next year”, explained sports director Davide Bramati.
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