This story began at the turn of the millennium, when Patrick Lefevere left Mapei in late 2000 to set up his own team, originally called Domo and, from 2003 onwards, Quick Step, with several co-sponsors. The Czech billionaire Zdeněk Bakala is the current owner and principal shareholder of the team.
Its focus on the classics means 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 and Julian Alaphilippe smashed expectations with fifth place in 2019. This has never stopped it from lighting up the fireworks in July, especially with popular French riders. Lefevere did not regret giving Richard Virenque a second chance at the end of his ban in 2001. The rider from the Var department staved off 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 riding for Quick Step, he claimed his seventh and last polka-dot jersey in Paris. Later French recruits were also a great investment for the Flemish outfit, as Cédric Vasseur and Sylvain Chavanel both won Tour stages.
The team has found a worthy heir in Julian Alaphilippe. The winner of the 2018, 2019 and 2021 Flèche Wallonne and the 2019 Milan–San Remo took the first Alpine stage, the first Pyrenean stage and the mountains classification in the 2018 Tour after the Belgian team got off to a sensational start with two sprint victories by Fernando Gaviria, who followed in the footsteps of Víctor Hugo Peña in 2003 to become the second Colombian to wear the yellow jersey. In 2019, Elia Viviani extended the Italian success story in Lorraine in the stage to Nancy, but it was Julian Alaphilippe who hogged all the attention. A win in Champagne and the first French victory in an individual time trial in the Tour de France since Jean-François Bernard on the Mont Ventoux in 1987 put him in the pole position to win the overall, a far cry from his initial objectives, but he ended up faltering in the Alps. In 2020, Alaphilippe raised his arms in triumph in Nice and spent another three days in yellow before shifting his focus to preparing his challenge for the rainbow jersey. He also dug deep to help Sam Bennett, who repeated Tom Boonen's feat in 2007 by grabbing two stage wins and the green jersey in Paris for the Belgian team, which has been one of the apex predators of the peloton for over two decades. In 2021, it hit the jackpot again with a win in the inaugural stage with Julian Alaphilippe and another four with Mark Cavendish. The stellar work of his lead-out man, Michael Mørkøv, helped the greatest sprinter of all time pull level with Eddy Merckx as the joint record-holder for the most Tour de France stage wins (34). However, a near-miss on the Champs-Élysées cost him the outright record and, in 2022, he had to give up his spot on the roster for Fabio Jakobsen, who bounced back from his hair-raising crash in the 2020 Tour de Pologne with three stage wins and the points classification in the 2021 Vuelta… a performance he followed up with a victory in the first bunch sprint of the Tour de France that started from Copenhagen, one day after Yves Lampaert struck like a bolt out of the blue in the opening time trial, more than making up for the world champion Julian Alaphilippe's absence from the peloton. The Frenchman is expected to stage his big comeback this summer and help Patrick Lefevere's team make the headlines more than twice this time round.
- Final victory0
- Stages victories50
- Yellows Jerseys30
- Other race Won0
Overall wins: 0
Podium finishes: 0
Stage wins: 50
- 2002: Richard Virenque on the Mont Ventoux
- 2003: Richard Virenque in Morzine and Servais Knaven in Bordeaux
- 2004: Tom Boonen in Angers and Paris, Richard Virenque in Saint-Flour and Juan Miguel Mercado in Lons-le-Saunier
- 2005: Tom Boonen in Les Essarts and Tours
- 2006: Matteo Tosatto in Mâcon
- 2007: Gert Steegmans in Ghent, Tom Boonen in Bourg-en-Bresse and Castres and Cédric Vasseur in Marseille
- 2008: Gert Steegmans in Paris
- 2010: Sylvain Chavanel in Spa and Les Rousses
- 2013: Mark Cavendish in Marseille and Saint-Amand-Montrond, Tony Martin in Mont-Saint-Michel and Matteo Trentin in Lyon
- 2014: Matteo Trentin in Nancy and Tony Martin in Mulhouse and Périgueux
- 2015: Tony Martin in Cambrai, Zdeněk Štybar in Le Havre and Mark Cavendish in Fougères
- 2016: Marcel Kittel in Limoges
- 2017: Marcel Kittel in Liège, Troyes, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Bergerac and Pau
- 2018: Fernando Gaviria in Fontenay-le-Comte and Sarzeau and Julian Alaphilippe in Le Grand-Bornand and Bagnères-de-Luchon
- 2019: Julian Alaphilippe in Épernay and Pau and Elia Viviani in Nancy
- 2020: Julian Alaphilippe in Nice and Sam Bennett in Saint-Martin-de-Ré and Paris
- 2021: Julian Alaphilippe in Landerneau and Mark Cavendish in Fougères, Châteauroux, Valence and Carcassonne
- 2022: Yves Lampaert in Copenhagen and Fabio Jakobsen in Nyborg
Secondary classification wins: 9
- 2003: Richard Virenque (mountains classification)
- 2004: Richard Virenque (mountains classification and most combative rider)
- 2007: Tom Boonen (points classification)
- 2010: Sylvain Chavanel (most combative rider)
- 2018: Julian Alaphilippe (mountains classification)
- 2019: Julian Alaphilippe (most combative rider)
- 2020: Sam Bennett (points classification)
- 2021: Mark Cavendish (points classification)
Yellow jerseys: 30
- 2003: Richard Virenque, one day
- 2006: Tom Boonen, four days
- 2010: Sylvain Chavanel, two days
- 2015: Tony Martin, three days
- 2018: Fernando Gaviria, one day
- 2019: Julian Alaphilippe, fourteen days
- 2020: Julian Alaphilippe, three days
- 2021: Julian Alaphilippe, one day
- 2022: Yves Lampaert, one day
STARTS: 22 (since 2001)
14: the number of days spent in yellow by Julian Alaphilippe in 2019, longer than any other French rider since Bernard Hinault in the 1985 Tour de France.
12 July 2003: smack in the middle of the centennial Tour, Richard Virenque pulls on a bizarre jersey, half yellow and half polka-dots, after taking both jerseys and the stage win in Morzine.
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 propels Fernando Gaviria to the stage win in Fontenay-le-Comte and gives Colombia its second leader of the Tour de France.
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