By Brecht Decaluwé
The Quick Step team, with its local favorites Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder, almost didn't start the Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday morning after they chose a vintage team kit that the UCI hadn't approved.
Following the example set by the legendary Mario Cipollini, the Belgian Quick Step team created a special jersey to wear during its home Spring Classic.
Team manager Patrick Lefevre had expected that the UCI wouldn't like the team's action, but he figured Quick Step would simply be penalized 2,500 Swiss Francs fine if they raced in the new kit. Then Lefevre learned that the UCI planned to prohibit Quick Step from starting in Brugge.
"I can't understand it," said Lefevre to Het Nieuwsblad. "It shows the conservative vision within the governing cycling body. With this mentality, it's no wonder we're not attracting new sponsors in cycling."
Quick Step showed up at the start in their vintage kit for sign in, but then the team rode back to its bus and changed back into the normal Quick Step kit in time for the start.