Two-time World Champion Julian Alaphilippe will lead the team at the first World Tour competition of the year.

Soudal Quick-Step is ready to kick off the season in less than two weeks at the most important Australian race on the calendar, the Tour Down Under, which this year runs its 24th edition. Taking place between 16-21 January, the race will see the riders take on the now traditional Adelaide Criterium before embarking on a challenging 800km journey peppered with plenty of challenges, including the Willunga Hill and Mount Lofty.

Ten years after making his debut for the team at the Tour Down Under, Julian Alaphilippe returns at the start of the race which will now mark the first outing in the pro ranks for two Soudal Quick-Step riders: Gil Gelders and Antoine Huby. The squad for the six-day event will be rounded out by Josef Cerny, James Knox, Casper Pedersen and Pieter Serry.

“I’m happy to be returning to Down Under after a decade. Australia is a great country, with fans that love the sport and show you their support every time. I still remember the emotion and joy I felt upon pinning on a number for my first race with the team there in 2014. I’m excited to go back where it all began and I hope for a good start to the season”, said Julian ahead of his first appointment of the year.

“We come with a strong squad and we’re looking forward to the race. Julian can get some opportunities with the support of the experienced guys on the squad, while Casper can get involved in the fight for a good result on the flat stages. For Gil and Antoine this will be a nice way to start with Soudal Quick-Step and we can’t wait to see them in action”, added sports director Geert Van Bondt.


Photo credit: ©Wout Beel

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