"Our turnover increased from 8 to 20 million!"
Marc Coucke, boss of the Davitamon-Lotto team, isn't afraid of making bold statements. The bad feelings towards Patrick Lefevere and his Quick-Step team haven't diminished. On the contrary, the fact that the Omega Pharma boss lost his court case against Lefevere's company has made Coucke hungry for revenge on the cycling battlefield.
"I'm very happy about how the team is going," Coucke told Het Laatste Nieuws. "The score is now 15-2 [he includes McEwen's criterium wins in Australia]. If Quick-Step wins next Saturday? Well, then it's still only 15-3."
The immediate competition with Quick-Step isn't a priority but it doesn't seem to be something that Coucke is willing to avoid either: "It's easy to say that cycling is about sport and emotions! He [Lefevere] wasn't too shy to send us a bill of €160,000 every month though. In the real business world, our dispute with Lefevere would never have ended in front of a judge; something like that gets settled amicably."
Finally, Coucke was happy to point out the improvement that cycling sponsorship has had on his business. "When Omega-Pharma sell more vitamins, then we know that the team is a good investment," he said. "Davitamon has been in cycling for two years now and the turnover has gone from €8 million to €20 million!"