The UCI World Team Classification winner has high hopes ahead of its 20th year in the peloton.
Sponsors, partners, and journalists attended the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team presentation Monday at the Suitopia – Sol y Mar Suites Hotel in Calpe, where CEO Patrick Lefevere began by presenting the new sponsors of the squad – Castelli Cycling, Ekopak, Renson and Safety Jogger – before moving on to the expectations for the season we’ll kick off in just a couple of weeks.
“As we prepare to start a new season, we are motivated to be again among the best squads in the world. For the past ten years, we have been the most successful team in the World Tour and we hope to continue adding more victories and great results to our palmares. We count on a solid team, a mix of experienced and young riders, all hungry and motivated to give their best. We are also very grateful for having so many extraordinary partners at our side, showing the same determination and commitment to be at the top”, explained Patrick Lefevere.
World Champion Julian Alaphilippe, one of the riders in hot demand at the media day, outlined the goals he has for his ninth season with the Wolfpack: “It was amazing to wear the rainbow jersey for a whole year, and win with it on my shoulders some big races, and I feel honored to have the chance to sport it again this season. As you know, I want to improve and to become better, that’s why I always have a couple of goals in mind. Liège–Bastogne–Liège will be one of these, as it’s a race that suits me and where I came close a couple of times. I would also like to take a stage victory again at the Tour de France, because doing it in 2021 as World Champion was quite special. I know I can’t win every race I want to, but the most important thing is to know that I always give everything and enjoy every single moment on the bike.”
Also in the spotlight at the team presentation was Remco Evenepoel, who confirmed he will be at the start of a Grand Tour this year: “I hope to have a normal season, unlike last year when I had a late start. At the end of the day, I can’t complain, as I won eight races and have been on the podium at the National, European and World Championships, but I want more from this year. I will work hard towards the Ardennes Classics and La Vuelta. I like riding in Spain, I won San Sebastian and Burgos there, and can’t wait to ride the Vuelta and gain as much experience as possible.”
One of the main protagonists of the cobbled Classics in 2021, Danish powerhouse Kasper Asgreen has the same hunger for victories: “Last year was a great one. I won Ronde van Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke, but that’s history now and my focus is on what lies ahead. I like winning races and hopefully I will keep doing that. What I know for sure is that I will keep trying. My main focus will be the Spring Classics, with the Amstel Gold Race as a new addition to my calendar. Then I will prepare for the Tour de France and the World Championships in the second part of the season. The fact that the Tour starts from Denmark will only fuel my motivation.”
I love cycling, I’ve always loved it.
“I don’t know yet where my season will get underway, but what I can tell you is that I’ll do everything that I can to be prepared for every race I will start with the squad. I had an unforgettable season in 2021, but what matters the most at the end of the day is that I am happy to be in this team, a team where you feel like in a family”, added Mark Cavendish, who last year enjoyed a tremendous season that saw him equal Eddy Merckx’s record of Tour de France stage victories, in addition to winning a second green jersey.
Going into its 20th season, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl comprises 31 riders from 10 nationalities: Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen, Andrea Bagioli, Davide Ballerini, Mattia Cattaneo, Rémi Cavagna, Mark Cavendish, Josef Cerny, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Remco Evenepoel, Mikkel Honoré, Fabio Jakobsen, Iljo Keisse, James Knox, Yves Lampaert, Fausto Masnada, Michael Mørkøv, Mauro Schmid, Florian Sénéchal, Pieter Serry, Stijn Steels, Jannik Steimle, Zdenek Stybar, Martin Svrcek (who’ll join the squad from July 1st), Bert Van Lerberghe, Stan Van Tricht, Ilan Van Wilder, Mauri Vansevenant, Ethan Vernon, and Louis Vervaeke.
Photo credit: ©Wout Beel