Omega Pharma Quick Step Team Gilet - 2013
This piece of history started with the new millennium when Patrick Lefevere left Mapei at the end of 2000 to create his own team, initially called Domo, then Quick Step from 2003 with the backing of various co-sponsors. The team is now owned by Czech billionaire Zdenek Bakala.Focused on the classics, in particular in Flanders, the Belgian team has never set itself up with the Tour de France general classification in mind: its best overall result is the 13th place earned by Kevin De Weert in 2011. However, it has always been the talk of the town in July, thanks to hiring popular French riders. Lefevere did not regret giving a helping hand to Richard Virenque following his suspension in 2001, because the man from the Var managed to resist the pack’s leading lights on the climb up the Mont Ventoux the following year and also once again wore the Yellow Jersey, eleven years after first donning it, with victory in Morzine on the centenary edition. It was with Quick Step that, in 2004, he completed his collection of seven Polka Dot Jerseys won in Paris. His French successors in the Flemish team have not disappointed either, with Cedric Vasseur and Sylvain Chavanel winning stages on Le Tour.The recruitment of Mark Cavendish is the big news of 2013. The British rider with one hundred professional victories is the team’s new driving force in the absence of a leader for the general classification, since the two times world time-trial champion Tony Martin will concentrate essentially on his speciality, as well as preparing the sprints for the man he already successfully led out with the HTC-Highroad team.Stage victories: 17 - 2002: Richard Virenque at the Mont Ventoux - 2003: Richard Virenque at Morzine and Servais Knaven at Bordeaux - 2004: Tom Boonen at Angers and in Paris; Richard Virenque at Saint-Flour and Juan Miguel Mercado at Lons-le-Saunier - 2005: Tom Boonen at Les Essarts and Tours - 2006: Matteo Tosatto at Macon - 2007: Gert Steegmans at Gand; Tom Boonen at Bourg-en-Bresse and at Castres; Cedric Vasseur at Marseille - 2008: Gert Steegmans in Paris - 2010: Sylvain Chavanel at Spa and at Les Rousses.Victories in secondary classifications: 5 - 2003: Richard Virenque (Polka Dot Jersey) - 2004 : Richard Virenque (Polka Dot Jersey and combativity award) - 2007 : Tom Boonen (Green Jersey) - 2010 : Sylvain Chavanel (combativity award)Yellow Jerseys: 7 - 2003: Richard Virenque, one day - 2006: Tom Boonen, four days - 2010: Sylvain Chavanel, two daysKey Figures: 17 - the number of stages won by Patrick Lefevere’s riders in eleven years, including seven by Belgians and six by French riders.Key Dates12th July 2003: midway through the centenary Tour de France, Richard Virenque earns a rather special jersey in Morzine: half yellow and half polka dot, since with the stage victory he reached the top of both classifications 5th July 2006: Tom Boonen, world champion at the time and at the summit of his powers, travels through Belgium in yellow (from Huy to Saint-Quentin) after having reached the top of the general classification in Valkenburg 18th July 2007: in an entirely French duel, Cedric Vasseur wins by a hair’s breadth in front of Sandy Casar on the stage finishing in Marseilles and retires ten years after having worn the Yellow Jersey.