Etixx - Quick-Step
Etixx – Quick-Step is a World Tour cycling team established in 2003 and based in Wevelgem, Belgium, a city that’s symbolic to Flemish cycling. The team is made up of 30 riders from 13 different nationalities. The Czech Businessman Mr Zdenek Bakala took over the team at the end of 2010. The team is managed by a Board of 8 members. Patrick Lefevere, one of the most victorious managers in the history of cycling, is in charge of Sports Management. The team focuses on its Belgian roots, but also strives to have an international impact.
Since its inception the team has scored more than 500 victories, including 15 Monument Classics, 4 Road World Championships, 5 ITT Road World Championships, 2 TTT World Championships, 2 World Cups and an Olympic Title. In 2015 Etixx – Quick Step was the winningest team for the fourth year in a row, thanks to 56 overall wins (54 on the road).
Current top riders for the team are sprinter Marcel Kittel (winner of 8 stages at the Tour de France), Tom Boonen (4-time Paris-Roubaix winner), three-time UCI World TT Champion Tony Martin, Niki Terpstra (winner of Paris-Roubaix 2014), Zdenek Stybar (winner Strade Bianche 2015), Dan Martin (winner of Liege Bastogne Liege 2013 and Giro di Lombardia 2014) and the Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels.
Team work, talent, sports-applied technology, commitment, willpower and excellence are the principles that guide the activities of the team day by day.
The roots of the Etixx – Quick-Step Cycling Team heritage took hold in the team’s debut year during the 2003 season, under the name Quick Step-Davitamon. From 2003 to 2010 the team captured more than 280 victories and 16 Classics. Paolo Bettini also gave the team 2 World Cup Titles (2003-2004) and an Olympic Gold Medal (Athens 2004). The team won three Road World Championships, with Boonen in 2005 and Bettini in 2006 and 2007, while Michael Rogers won on three occasions the TT World Championship (2003-2005). The squad has also captured 30 stages in the major Tours: 16 at Tour de France, 5 at Giro d’Italia, 9 at Vuelta. Virenque wore the polka dot jersey twice in the Tour de France and has become the rider with the most victories in the polka dot jersey classification, which we won seven times. Add to this the points jersey won at the Giro d’Italia by Paolo Bettini in 2005 and 2006 and the green jersey as leader of the points classification captured by Tom Boonen in the 2007 Tour de France. These important numbers have made the team one of the most recognized and established formations in the world and a leading team in the classics thanks to the talents of Tom Boonen and Paolo Bettini, the two athletes who have made lasting impressions in the team’s history.
The Czech Businessman Mr Zdenek Bakala took over the team at the end of 2010. While the team was busy restructuring and preparing with behind-the-scenes operations in 2011, 2012 proved to be an extraordinary year. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step collected 60 victories in 2012, including a return to Classics glory for Tom Boonen. He broke or matched several records. He was the first rider in cycling history to win the E3 Harelbeke, Gent–Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders and Paris–Roubaix in the same year. Tornado Tom was also the first rider to earn the Tour of Flanders/Paris-Roubaix Double twice in his career. Last, but certainly not least, the Belgian cobble crusher equalled the record of Roger De Vlaeminck by winning his fourth career Paris-Roubaix. Boonen also won the Belgian National Road Championship, and the Paris-Brussels one-day race.
Finally, Boonen was a part of the UCI World Team Time Trial Championship winning team in September, as Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team won the inaugural gold medal in that event.
German rider Tony Martin, who signed with the team in 2012, showed everyone why he is the best time trial rider on the planet. He won the overall classification at the Tour of Belgium after taking victory in the time trial, as well as the German National Time Trial Championship, his second straight UCI World Time Trial Championship after also being part of the UCI World Team Time Trial Championship Team. He closed out the season with the overall victory at the Tour of Beijing after winning yet another time trial stage. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team also had bragging rights for the most national champions on any team in the 2012 UCI World Tour. Nine riders won gold in either the road or time trial disciplines.
In 2013 the team continued to develop its international ambitions and earned 63 victories, with several highlights. 2013 marked the debut of Mark Cavendish in the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step jersey, and the Manx Missile made an immediate impact in the sprints. He won his first race with the team at the Tour de San Luis, then went on to win four stages as well as the overall at the Tour of Qatar. As for the presence of Cavendish in the Grand Tours, he won five stages at the Giro d’Italia and took home the Maglia Rossa, otherwise known as the Red (Points) jersey. He broke the 100-win career mark at the Giro. Furthermore, the 2013 British Road Champion won two stages at the Tour de France, bringing his career stage wins in Le Tour to a total of twenty-five.
Time trial legend Tony Martin shined in his second year with the team, winning time trials throughout the year including at the Tour de France, the German National Time Trial Championship, and a third consecutive UCI World Time Trial Championship. He was also a key factor in the second UCI World Team Trial Championship for Omega Pharma – Quick-Step. Matteo Trentin, a blossoming Italian rider, won a spectacular stage in Lyon at the Tour de France, as did Zdenek Stybar at La Vuelta a Espana. As for national championships, six different riders won either road or time trial championships for their respective nations on the road, and Czech rider Zdenek Stybar also won the Czech National Championship in cyclocross.
The victories in 2013 were spread between 18 different riders, showing the depth of talent within the team was unlike any previous teams in the organization.
While 2013 seemed like a tough season to beat in terms of victories and overall dominance, in 2014 Omega Pharma – Quick Step was the winningest team for the third year in a row, thanks to 68 overall wins (64 on the road), which was the third consecutive year the team surpassed 60 victories in a season. The diversity of the dominance in 2014 was unlike any other year in the team’s history.
Zdenek Stybar started off the season strong for the team, winning the UCI World Cyclo-cross Championship in February. Dutch rider Niki Terpstra got the victory momentum going early, winning a stage and the overall at the Tour of Qatar, while his teammate Tom Boonen also won two stages. Terpstra nabbed the victory in Dwars door Vlaanderen, and capped off his season with the biggest triumph of his career: Paris-Roubaix. Terpstra attacked after a perfectly executed race by Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, and went on to take a solo victory in a race known to many as the “Hell of the North.”
Rigoberto Uran, who joined the team in 2014, showed his abilities for the Grand Tour General Classification at the Giro d’Italia. The Colombian rider won the ITT from Barbaresco to Barolo, which meant he took the Maglia Rosa (Pink Jersey) of the overall leader. He was the first Colombian rider to earn that honour. He spent three stages in the GC lead, and went on to become the first Omega Pharma – Quick-Step rider to finish on the Giro d’Italia GC podium (2nd place). Tony Martin dominated the time trials once again, winning his second straight overall at Tour of Belgium, and both the Tour de France and La Vuelta a Espana time trial stages in addition to yet another German National Time Trial Championship. However, Martin had a career first with a brilliant solo attack in the 9th stage of the Tour de France, giving him his first ever road race victory in a Grand Tour.
Matteo Trentin won a Tour de France Stage for a second straight year, becoming one of 19 different Omega Pharma – Quick-Step riders with a victory in the 2014 season. Several young cyclists won stages or overall classifications throughout the year, such as Guillaume Van Keirsbulck. Trentin, Julian Alaphilippe, Julien Vermote, and Petr Vakoc.
However, Michal Kwiatkowski had the top moment of the season. He attacked in the final kilometers of the UCI World Road Championship, and became the first Polish rider to earn the Rainbow Stripes in the road race. Kwiatkowski displayed his all-rounder abilities earlier in the season with victories at Strade Bianche, Tour de Romandie (ITT), the Polish Time Trial Championship, and a road stage at Tour of Britain shortly before the Worlds. Kwiatkowski, which means “Flower” in Polish, showed his power all season long, including podium places in the Ardennes Classics, such as Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Fleche Wallonne.
On the 21st of July 2014, during the rest day of Tour de France, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step proudly announced that the team had secured its future through 2017 thanks to the extended commitment of owner Mr Bakala, and also crucial support from its sponsors.
Since 2015 the official name for the team has been "Etixx – Quick-Step." Just this past season the team scored 56 victories, 54 of those on the road. For the fourth year in a row the team was the most victorious formation in the cycling world. Spring successes were highlighted by Michal Kwiatkowski’s victory in the Amstel Gold Race, which coincided with the first triumph in the team’s history at the Dutch classic, Stybar’s win in Strade Bianche and a splendid victory by Iljo Keisse in the last stage of the Giro d’Italia. In the summer the team shined on the roads of the Tour de France, recording three stage wins with Martin, Stybar and Cavendish. Memories of the Tour are intricately linked to the incredible story of Tony Martin. Although he managed to wear the yellow jersey after a brave attack in the stage arriving at Cambrai, the German champion saw his dreams go up in smoke after a brutal crash in the Le Havre stage, the same day in which Zdenek Stybar triumphed on the difficult arrival with a splendid solo act. The image of Tony supported by his team all the way to the finish line will remain indelible in the memories of fans of the team and its history. The season final also brought tremendous satisfaction, with a splendid victory by Rigoberto Uran in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec, which relaunched the Colombian talent’s season after an unfortunate Giro d’Italia. Last but not least worth noting is Matteo Trentin’s victory in Paris-Tours with an incredible average speed record of 49.641 Km/h, which earned him the prize of the Yellow Ribbon as the fastest rider in history in a race longer than 200 kilometres.
In September 2015, the team also announced the arrival of a prestigious partner in 2016, the Lidl supermarket chain.
"I don’t need to hide it; besides the team’s image and its impact on cycling, their success and results also helped convince the sponsors to go on," Team CEO Patrick Lefevere said. "So, this is the product of a winning team. It’s a lot of work to gather all the pieces of a winning team, the riders and the staff. I’m really proud of the staff I work with every day to reach common goals. I take care of my sponsors and do my best with my team to keep them happy and performing. Right now we are one of the most established teams in cycling. Thanks to the help of our owner Mr Bakala and our sponsors, we can build toward even more success in our future as possible."