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Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step)
Quick Step manager believes Weylandt can win at the Tour
Patrick Lefevere has praised Wouter Weylandt's stage three win at the Giro d'Italia, but is hopeful that the Belgian sprinter's win will breed further success amongst the Quick Step team.
"[Weylandt] has earned this victory himself, so congratulations to him," Lefevere told Sporza. "Victories are bread and water for a sprinter. I hope that he and the team can use this to build towards a good season."
In March, Weylandt had come under fire from Lefevere for his lack of results throughout the second half of the 2009 season and the start of this year. The 25-year-old's victory over Graeme Brown (Rabobank) in Middelberg on Monday was his first win in 14 months.
"His first quarter was not enough, but I also said that he had six months to make it good," said Lefevere. "I was confident that he would respond on the bike. I like a rider who lets his legs do the talking.
"It also reflects well upon Wouter. But he needed the wake-up call; after four [five - sic] years as a professional he had to step-up a level."
Lefevere is keen not to see Weylandt rest on his Giro laurels. The Belgian has now secured stage victories at the Vuelta a España (2008, stage 17) and the Giro, but his team manager believes he can, and should, add a Tour de France stage win to his palmares.
"He can win at the Tour," he said. "Someone who can win in the Vuelta and the Giro, should be able to claim victory at the Tour too; I think he can.
"I also believe that Wouter's personal ambitions also extend beyond a stage victory in the Giro. I hope this is the start of something good that is yet to come."