Julian Alaphilippe and Ilan Van Wilder headline our squad for this weekend.

Host of the 1990 World Championships, Utsunomiya – a city that can be found on the largest city of Japan – is where our squad will race for the penultimate time this season. The Japan Cup takes place this weekend, when after Friday’s team presentation, the Soudal Quick-Step boys will take on a criterium, followed by the actual race, twenty-four hours later.

Julian Alaphilippe, James Knox, Fausto Masnada, Pieter Serry, Stan Van Tricht and Ilan Van Wilder are the six riders lining out at the start of the event held at the Utsunomiya City Forest Park Circuit. The race – a former fixture on the World Cup in the ‘90s and one of the most important in Asia – will consist of 16 laps of a 10.3km circuit whose main difficulty will be Mt. Kogashi, a 2.1km climb averaging 6%.

“We hope to have a good weekend in Japan. For sure, the motivation is there and we will try to do our best. Some of the guys come here after a solid outing in the Italian one-day races, and are motivated to bring the season to a conclusion with a strong ride and a nice result”, explained Soudal Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati.


Photo credit: ©Dario Belingheri / Getty Images

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