Skip to main content

A day in the Tour de France with Quick Step

Image 1 of 64

Carlos Barredo talks with the press

Carlos Barredo talks with the press
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 2 of 64

10:51 More French journalists join in with the Patrick Lefevre interview

10:51 More French journalists join in with the Patrick Lefevre interview
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 3 of 64

The Quick Step team management stops in to see if the riders are sticking to their diets.

The Quick Step team management stops in to see if the riders are sticking to their diets.
(Image credit: Alessandro Tegner)
Image 4 of 64

Carbo loading at the Quick Step table

Carbo loading at the Quick Step table
(Image credit: Alessandro Tegner)
Image 5 of 64

The rest day provides families time to visit Dad.

The rest day provides families time to visit Dad.
(Image credit: Alessandro Tegner)
Image 6 of 64

That's a mighty big plate of pasta.

That's a mighty big plate of pasta.
(Image credit: Alessandro Tegner)
Image 7 of 64

Due to the lack of space at the start area it was quite hectic

Due to the lack of space at the start area it was quite hectic
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 8 of 64

Placing the bike racks while awaiting the team cars

Placing the bike racks while awaiting the team cars
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 9 of 64

The mechanics take out their equipment from the bus

The mechanics take out their equipment from the bus
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 10 of 64

The two lions are put in front of the window to show off the team's two stage wins

The two lions are put in front of the window to show off the team's two stage wins
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 11 of 64

10:15 The Quick Step bus arrives at the start in Bagnères-de-Luchon

10:15 The Quick Step bus arrives at the start in Bagnères-de-Luchon
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 12 of 64

Inside the hotel: Quick Step's masseur at work

Inside the hotel: Quick Step's masseur at work
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 13 of 64

Inside the hotel: The masseur working on Sylvain Chavanel's thighs

Inside the hotel: The masseur working on Sylvain Chavanel's thighs
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 14 of 64

Inside the hotel: Sylvain Chavanel had a slice of bread while receiving his massage

Inside the hotel: Sylvain Chavanel had a slice of bread while receiving his massage
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 15 of 64

Inside the hotel: Sylvain Chavanel receives massage while enjoying some candy

Inside the hotel: Sylvain Chavanel receives massage while enjoying some candy
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 16 of 64

Inside the hotel: Carlos Barredo is a fanatic fan of football team Sporting Gijon and Johan Cruijff (n°14)

Inside the hotel: Carlos Barredo is a fanatic fan of football team Sporting Gijon and Johan Cruijff (n°14)
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 17 of 64

Inside the hotel: Carlos Barredo's race numbers

Inside the hotel: Carlos Barredo's race numbers
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 18 of 64

Inside the hotel: Carlos Barredo folding his clothes

Inside the hotel: Carlos Barredo folding his clothes
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 19 of 64

Inside the hotel: Carlos Barredo folding his clothes

Inside the hotel: Carlos Barredo folding his clothes
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 20 of 64

Cones were put place to make sure the team cars can park near the team's bus

Cones were put place to make sure the team cars can park near the team's bus
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 21 of 64

Inside the team bus: nobody there yet

Inside the team bus: nobody there yet
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 22 of 64

10:50 Patrick Lefevre talks with a French journalist

10:50 Patrick Lefevre talks with a French journalist
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 23 of 64

Wilfried Peeters talks with Belgian TV

Wilfried Peeters talks with Belgian TV
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 24 of 64

Patrick Lefevre

Patrick Lefevre
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 25 of 64

Wilfried Peeters and Alessandro Tegner found the Bramati-joke in French newspaper "L'Equipe"

Wilfried Peeters and Alessandro Tegner found the Bramati-joke in French newspaper "L'Equipe"
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 26 of 64

Dirk Nachtergaele gets out some more bottles

Dirk Nachtergaele gets out some more bottles
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 27 of 64

Kevin De Weert is the best placed Quick Step rider in the general classification, going for a top-20 result

Kevin De Weert is the best placed Quick Step rider in the general classification, going for a top-20 result
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 28 of 64

Dirk Nachtergaele makes sure there are bottles in the bikes

Dirk Nachtergaele makes sure there are bottles in the bikes
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 29 of 64

Sponsor Luc Maes from Innergetic makes fun of the lack of space

Sponsor Luc Maes from Innergetic makes fun of the lack of space
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 30 of 64

Sponsor Luc Maes from Innergetic

Sponsor Luc Maes from Innergetic
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 31 of 64

Francesco Reda

Francesco Reda
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 32 of 64

Maarten Wynants

Maarten Wynants
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 33 of 64

Jerôme Pineau walks from the team car to the bus

Jerôme Pineau walks from the team car to the bus
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 34 of 64

10:36 The team cars are rolling in

10:36 The team cars are rolling in
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 35 of 64

Inside the hotel: Carlos Barredo folding his clothes

Inside the hotel: Carlos Barredo folding his clothes
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 36 of 64

Inside the hotel: Carlos Barredo is the top professional: a well-organized suitcase

Inside the hotel: Carlos Barredo is the top professional: a well-organized suitcase
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 37 of 64

Maarten Wynants after finishing the 16th stage

Maarten Wynants after finishing the 16th stage
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 38 of 64

Dirk Nachtergaele hands out drinks to his riders

Dirk Nachtergaele hands out drinks to his riders
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 39 of 64

Dirk Nachtergaele isn't only taking care of his riders, but also Belgian TV-reporter Carl Berteele is freshened up while awaiting the grupetto after a day on the motorbike

Dirk Nachtergaele isn't only taking care of his riders, but also Belgian TV-reporter Carl Berteele is freshened up while awaiting the grupetto after a day on the motorbike
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 40 of 64

Carlos Barredo talks with the press in the mixed zone

Carlos Barredo talks with the press in the mixed zone
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 41 of 64

It's time for Carlos Barredo to get on the podium and receive the combativity prize

It's time for Carlos Barredo to get on the podium and receive the combativity prize
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 42 of 64

Alessandro Tegner tries to console Carlos Barredo, while his compatriot Alberto Contador walks off the podium

Alessandro Tegner tries to console Carlos Barredo, while his compatriot Alberto Contador walks off the podium
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 43 of 64

Wilfried Peeters talks with Kevin De Weert who had some difficult moments on the Tourmalet

Wilfried Peeters talks with Kevin De Weert who had some difficult moments on the Tourmalet
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 44 of 64

Wilfried Peeters was content with the team's performance

Wilfried Peeters was content with the team's performance
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 45 of 64

Jurgen Van De Walle receives a lot of media attention after battling in the breakaway group. Strongest quote: "We weren't planning to offer Lance any gifts. He won enough in his career."

Jurgen Van De Walle receives a lot of media attention after battling in the breakaway group. Strongest quote: "We weren't planning to offer Lance any gifts. He won enough in his career."
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 46 of 64

Jurgen Van De Walle shows signs of a rough stage over the Tourmalet

Jurgen Van De Walle shows signs of a rough stage over the Tourmalet
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 47 of 64

A person from race organizer ASO informs Dirk Nachtergaele that Carlos Barredo will be receiving the combativity prize, so he should head to the podium

A person from race organizer ASO informs Dirk Nachtergaele that Carlos Barredo will be receiving the combativity prize, so he should head to the podium
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 48 of 64

Dirk Nachtergaele awaits the riders at the finish

Dirk Nachtergaele awaits the riders at the finish
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 49 of 64

Kevin Seeldrayers was happy with this drink at the finish line

Kevin Seeldrayers was happy with this drink at the finish line
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 50 of 64

Kevin Seeldrayers and Dirk Nachtergaele

Kevin Seeldrayers and Dirk Nachtergaele
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 51 of 64

Inside the hotel: Some washing needs to be done

Inside the hotel: Some washing needs to be done
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 52 of 64

Johan Museeuw was also at the Quick Step hotel, where a collector asked him to sign an old photo. The man explained that one could buy it for 10 euro

Johan Museeuw was also at the Quick Step hotel, where a collector asked him to sign an old photo. The man explained that one could buy it for 10 euro
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 53 of 64

Patrick Lefevre with a fresh haircut

Patrick Lefevre with a fresh haircut
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 54 of 64

Carlos Barredo at the elevator, still mumbling about how things went wrong

Carlos Barredo at the elevator, still mumbling about how things went wrong
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 55 of 64

There's enough rubber left for a few more climbs

There's enough rubber left for a few more climbs
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 56 of 64

The mechanics inspect the wheels for braking damage

The mechanics inspect the wheels for braking damage
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 57 of 64

Dries Devenyns hurt a lot today

Dries Devenyns hurt a lot today
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 58 of 64

The mechanics are cleaning the riders' equipment

The mechanics are cleaning the riders' equipment
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 59 of 64

The Quick Step team has been staying in Hotel De Gramont in Pau for a couple of times, it's one block away from the finish line

The Quick Step team has been staying in Hotel De Gramont in Pau for a couple of times, it's one block away from the finish line
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 60 of 64

Dries Devenyns and Luca Bramati talk about how Barredo and Van De Walle rode the finale

Dries Devenyns and Luca Bramati talk about how Barredo and Van De Walle rode the finale
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 61 of 64

Dries Devenyns had a difficult day as he was in all sorts of pain

Dries Devenyns had a difficult day as he was in all sorts of pain
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 62 of 64

Dries Devenyns searches for the hotel while family walks up to him

Dries Devenyns searches for the hotel while family walks up to him
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 63 of 64

Kevin Seeldrayers tries to find his way out of the chaos after the finish line

Kevin Seeldrayers tries to find his way out of the chaos after the finish line
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
Image 64 of 64

Sylvain Chavanel talks with Belgian TV

Sylvain Chavanel talks with Belgian TV
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)

During the sixteenth stage of the Tour de France Cyclingnews followed the day's action of the Quick Step cycling team. We don't know whether the Belgian squad was more motivated than normal due to our extra attention, but the team was ever present during the stage from Bagnères-de-Luchon to Pau, culminating with both Jurgen Van De Walle and Carlos Barredo infiltrating the decisive 10-man escape.

Barredo boldly attacked 44km from the finish, only to be brought back by his eight pursuers at the flamme rouge. Van De Walle - who stayed in the wheels during the finale - then tried to power away on a left hand corner, which came to naught. Barredo was too gassed to contest the sprint, leaving Van De Walle and seven others to fight for stage glory.

Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) blasted away in front and won the stage, Van De Walle finished seventh and Barredo ninth. That was the Quick Step story of the day everybody had seen, now back to our view on things.

Our day kicked off that morning in the stage's start town of Bagnères-de-Luchon as we witnessed the daily routine of Quick Step's staff and riders. The team bus arrived at 10:15 a.m., bringing in the mechanics who were trying to create some space for the upcoming team cars. Due to the limited space at the start area there was not enough space to park the team cars, let alone to allow guests, press, riders and other teams to pass by.

At 10:36 a.m. the riders arrived in the team cars, together with sponsor Luc Maes from Innergetic, all the sport directors and team manager Patrick Lefevre. Somehow everybody kept cool under the hectic circumstances, although director Davide Bramati grew flustered when confronted with the latest news in the newspaper (see Procycling's daily Tour de France dispatch for the whole story).

Quick Step's Tour de France is going well, with two stage wins and stints in yellow by Sylvain Chavanel, but they don't have a rider high-up in the general classification so there's not too many members of the press trying to get interviews with team members. Still, some people in the team excel in sneaking away from the awaiting press, whereas others like Chavanel seem to love it and just continue saying hello to whoever shows up while handing out autographs.

Once Lefevre showed up he quickly gained attention from the French media who wanted to find out about the - now confirmed - contract news on French riders Jerôme Pineau and Sylvain Chavanel. An hour later all riders were ready to take the start whereas the team cars were packed with bikes, wheels, staff and guests. Suddenly it was time to start running back to our own car as well in order to make it smoothly out of the 'village départ'.

When arriving at the finish line Cyclingnews witnessed the tension within the Quick Step organization. Soigneur Dirk Nachtergaele and spokesman Alessandro Tegner continuously made time checks as well as fielded questions from various media inquiring about the chances of Barredo and Van De Walle.

With less than three kilometers to go Nachtergaele and Tegner were asked by the race organizers to head to the podium as Barredo would be guided away from the normal finish area to be awarded the stage's combativity prize.

When the break crossed the finish line most Anglophone media stormed after Lance Armstrong (RadioShack), whereas the Francophone media chased down Fedrigo. Van De Walle, a Belgian, told his story over and over again primarily to Flemish media.

Barredo, meanwhile, accompanied Tegner behind the podium to receive his combativity prize, along with stage winner Fedrigo and all riders leading an individual classification. After Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) received the white jersey for leading the young rider's classification, the man from Oviedo was allowed to go up on stage. Barredo received kisses from the Brandt promotion girls, a trophy, flowers and a minute of glory on the podium of the Tour de France, consolation for coming so close to pulling off a stage victory.

Other riders from the team began arriving at the finish line and soigneur Nachtergaele made sure he was there to hand them a drink and freshen them up. Whereas most teams had their bus in the area, the Quick Step team told their riders to ride to the hotel themselves, as it was only one block away from the finish line.

When Barredo arrived at the hotel, mechanics, directors and teammates gave the likeable Spaniard a shoulder to lean on. Also, former Quick Step rider Johan Museeuw was present near the hotel. The "Lion of Flanders" is at the Tour to guide his son Gianni around who takes 'the photo of the day' for Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. Museeuw himself writes a column in the same paper.

After Barredo had taken a shower in his room, Cyclingnews caught up with the hero of stage 16 as the Spaniard was busy folding clothes and making sure his room was clean and neat, part of being a true professional. Walking a bit further up the corridor, we came across Chavanel receiving a massage while eating a piece of bread; other riders were still taking a shower or resting on their beds.

Everybody on the team seemed to be arranging their plans for the evening in Pau. Jerôme Pineau, for example, planned a family visit while others were challenging each other to a game of pool.

An amusing part of the evening was a fierce sprint from directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters up the street...to sneak ahead of a team mechanic at the local 'coiffeur'. A fresh look was all important, we were told, to make a good impression once arriving at the Champs Elysées in Paris; one doesn't want to hit Paris looking like someone who slept under a bridge near the Seine.

So after living a bohemian lifestyle for almost three weeks our Cyclingnews correspondent entered the press room with a fresh haircut, all set for Paris!