This story started with the new millennium, when Patrick Lefevere left Mapei in late 2000 to create his own team, which was originally called Domo and, from 2003 onwards, Quick Step, with several co-sponsors. Czech billionaire Zdeněk Bakala is the current owner and principal shareholder of the team.
Because it focuses on the classics, especially the Flemish ones, the Belgian squad has never been built to challenge for the Tour de France general classification, where its best result was Michał Kwiatkowski's eleventh place in 2013 until Dan Martin raised the bar by finishing ninth in 2016 and sixth in 2017. This has not stopped it from always making the headlines in July, notably thanks to popular French riders. Lefevere did not regret giving Richard Virenque a chance after his ban in 2001, as the rider from the Var managed to stay ahead of the big guns on the climb up the Mont Ventoux in 2002 and, eleven years after his first attempt, pulled on the yellow jersey in Morzine during the centennial Tour. In 2004, still with Quick Step, he rounded off his collection of seven polka-dot jerseys in Paris. Virenque's successors in the Belgian team were no disappointments either, as Cédric Vasseur and Sylvain Chavanel both won Tour stages.
The team has found a worthy heir in Julian Alaphilippe, who in 2018 claimed the Flèche Wallonne and went on to win the first Alpine stage, the first Pyrenean stage and the mountains classification in the Tour. Fernando Gaviria had earlier started the race in style, taking two sprint victories and becoming only the second Colombian ever to wear the yellow jersey, after Víctor Hugo Peña in 2003. Lefevere again let his star sprinter go, like he had done with Mark Cavendish in 2015 and Marcel Kittel in 2017, but he continues to be a force to be reckoned with on all fronts, with Italian Elia Viviani in the sprints, Spaniard Enric Mas (runner-up in La Vuelta in 2018) for the general classification and the versatile Alaphilippe, who led the world classification in the first part of the 2018 season after winning the Strade Bianche, Milan–San Remo and again the Flèche Wallonne, fishing in troubled waters.
Stage wins : 37
Secondary classification wins : 6
Yellow jerseys: 11
20: the number of stages won by Patrick Lefevere's men in the five previous editions (2013 to 2018).
12 July 2003: in Morzine, during the centennial Tour, Richard Virenque pulls on a bizarre jersey that is half yellow and half polka-dots… He has just taken both jerseys and the stage win.
5 July 2006: Tom Boonen, a world champion at the height of his fame, rides through Belgium in yellow (from Huy to Saint-Quentin) after taking the lead in Valkenburg.
7 July 2018: Quick Step Floors gives Colombia its second rider in the yellow jersey after propelling Fernando Gaviria to the stage win in Fontenay-le-Comte.
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