This story started with the new millennium, when Patrick Lefévère 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. Lefévère 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 Flemish team were no disappointments either, as Cédric Vasseur and Sylvain Chavanel both won Tour stages. The stage is now set for Flèche Wallonne winner Julian Alaphilippe.
Less and less Franco-Belgian and increasingly international, the team now known as Quick-Step Floors remains consistent in the hunt for stage victories, winning ten times in the three editions from 2013 to 2015 and an extra five from Marcel Kittel in 2017! However, Lefévère let his star sprinter go, like he did with Mark Cavendish in 2015, to put all his chips on rising star Fernando Gaviria. Meanwhile, Bob Jungels will take over leadership duties from Dan Martin in the fight for the general classification.
Stage wins: 33
Secondary classification wins: 5
Yellow jerseys: 10
10: The number of stages won by Patrick Lefévère's men in three consecutive editions (2013 to 2015), with Marcel Kittel scoring an extra five in 2017.
12 July 2003: in Morzine, during the centennial Tour, Richard Virenque pulls on a quaint jersey which 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.
18 July 2007: Cédric Vasseur beats Sandy Casar by a hair's width in a French vs. French duel in Marseille and bows out ten years after wearing the yellow jersey.
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