The Belgian Quick.Step team will undergo a big revamp for next season, losing over half of its current line-up and expanding its roster to 30 riders (from 27). The two key men, Tom Boonen and Paolo Bettini, will remain with Patrick Lefevere's team, while Belgian champion Serge Baguet, Dutch sprinter Steven de Jongh, Venezuelan climbing genius Jose Rujano, and talented Belgian Kevin Van Impe will be among those joining. Michael Rogers, Rik Verbrugghe and Luca Paolini will leave the squad.
"It's right that I'm fully backing my two top men," Lefevere said in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad. "Whether that's risky? Even if Tom should drop out, the team still has to perform." With existing talent Filippo Pozzato and Nick Nuyens along with the big name newcomers, this shouldn't be a problem for Quick.Step.
Team roster (newcomers highlighted in bold, neo-professionals in italics):
Serge Baguet (Bel, Davitamon-Lotto), Paolo Bettini (Ita), Tom Boonen (Bel), Davide Bramati (Ita), Francesco Chicchi (Ita, Fassa Bortolo), Wilfried Cretskens (Bel), Steven De Jongh (Ned, Rabobank), Kevin De Weert (Bel), Addy Engels (Ned), Juan Manuel Garate (Spa, Saunier Duval), Josè Antonio Garrido (Spa), Kevin Hulsmans (Bel), Servais Knaven (Ned), Nick Nuyens (Bel), Filippo Pozzato (Ita), Sebastian Rosseler (Bel), Jose Rujano (Ven, Selle Italia), Ivan Santaromita (Ita, Velo Club Mendrisio), Leonardo Scarselli (Ita, Selle Italia), Hubert Schwab (Swi, Saeco-Romer’s), Bram Tankink (Ned), Matteo Tossato (Ita, Fassa Bortolo), Guido Trenti (USA), Jurgen Van de Walle (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), Kevin Van Impe (Chocolade Jacques-T-Interim), Cedric Vasseur (Cofidis), Gert Verheyen (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), Davide Vigano (Ita), Wouter Weylandt (Bel), Remmert Wielinga (Ned, Rabobank).
Leaving: Mads Christensen (Den, Barloworld), Dmitri De Fauw (Chocolade Jacques-T-Interim), Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa, Agritubel), Cristian Moreni (Ita, Cofidis), Luca Paolini (Ita, Liquigas-Bianchi), Juan Antonio Pecharroman (Spa, Comunidad Valenciana), Michael Rogers (Aus, T-Mobile), Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger, T-Mobile), Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel, Discovery Channel), Rik Verbrugghe (Bel, Cofidis), Stefano Zanini (Ita, Liquigas-Bianchi).
Venezuelan rider José Rujano will join Quick Step-Innergetic at the end of the 2006 Giro d'Italia
Ukrainian Dmytro Grabovskyy has signed a contract with Quick Step-Innergetic cycling team for the next three seasons, but the Under 23 World Champion will remain among the Under 23s for another year (2006) with Finauto-Quick Step, the Italian Team managed by the former pro Luca Scinto. Grabovskyy will join Quick Step-Innergetic team in the 2007 season.
Davide Bramati will ride with the team until the end of the 2006 Giro d'Italia and then he will become Directeur Sportif with the Quick Step-Innergetic Cycling Team.
The Directeurs Sportifs for the next season are: Wilfried Peeters, Serge Parsani, Luca Guercilena, Rik Van Slycke. Bramati after 2006 Giro d'Italia.
Quick.Step-Innergetic won 37 UCI races in 2005.