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Inside the Quick Step service course

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ProTour teams like Quick Step keep close tabs on the thousands of articles of clothing that are used each season.

ProTour teams like Quick Step keep close tabs on the thousands of articles of clothing that are used each season.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Just one of the team's 15 team cars.

Just one of the team's 15 team cars.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Domo-Farm Frites were based at the Wevelgem Service course in 2001 and 2002

Domo-Farm Frites were based at the Wevelgem Service course in 2001 and 2002
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Tom Boonen and Sylvain Chavanel's bikes hang side-by-side at the Service Course.

Tom Boonen and Sylvain Chavanel's bikes hang side-by-side at the Service Course.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Stijn Devolder gets a stealthy black finish for his time trial bike.

Stijn Devolder gets a stealthy black finish for his time trial bike.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The rack of race bikes for the riders not racing at present.

The rack of race bikes for the riders not racing at present.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Jerome Pineau's time trial bike.

Jerome Pineau's time trial bike.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Time trial bikes are hung neatly on the bottom floor of the Service Course.

Time trial bikes are hung neatly on the bottom floor of the Service Course.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The team has around 40 deep dish wheels for time trials

The team has around 40 deep dish wheels for time trials
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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All of the team's time trial helmets are kept together.

All of the team's time trial helmets are kept together.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The Quick Step workshop

The Quick Step workshop
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Tom Boonen is the biggest sports start in Flanders

Tom Boonen is the biggest sports start in Flanders
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Iljo Keisse's race bike still has the number from his last race on board.

Iljo Keisse's race bike still has the number from his last race on board.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Quick Step Head Mechanic Jean-Marc Vandenberghe has been plying his trade for 18 years.

Quick Step Head Mechanic Jean-Marc Vandenberghe has been plying his trade for 18 years.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Plenty of room at the Quick Step Service Course

Plenty of room at the Quick Step Service Course
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Difficult to miss. The Quick Step Service Course

Difficult to miss. The Quick Step Service Course
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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One of Quick Step's two large mechanical trucks.

One of Quick Step's two large mechanical trucks.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Romandie's time trial opener meant the truck was chock-a-block with bikes.

Romandie's time trial opener meant the truck was chock-a-block with bikes.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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No chances are taken with the team bikes during transport.

No chances are taken with the team bikes during transport.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Cassettes and chain rings are well organised at the back of the mechanical truck

Cassettes and chain rings are well organised at the back of the mechanical truck
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The mechanical truck was just about ready to head off to the Tour of Romandie in Switzerland.

The mechanical truck was just about ready to head off to the Tour of Romandie in Switzerland.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Spare stems are stacked according to size at the Service Course

Spare stems are stacked according to size at the Service Course
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Proper preparation: Riders helmets and wet-weather gear is stored on shelves.

Proper preparation: Riders helmets and wet-weather gear is stored on shelves.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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No need for Quick Step to hit up the vending machine at the team hotel.

No need for Quick Step to hit up the vending machine at the team hotel.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Museeuw's bike remains caked in the mud picked up during the 2002 Paris-Roubaix

Museeuw's bike remains caked in the mud picked up during the 2002 Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Johan Museeuw's 2002 Paris-Roubaix winning bike is stored upstairs at the Quick Step Service Course.

Johan Museeuw's 2002 Paris-Roubaix winning bike is stored upstairs at the Quick Step Service Course.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Paolo Bettini's maglia rosa from 2005

Paolo Bettini's maglia rosa from 2005
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Paolo Bettini's World and Olympic Champion jersey, Stijn Devolder's Belgian National Champion jersey and Kevin Seeldrayers white jersey from the Giro d'Italia.

Paolo Bettini's World and Olympic Champion jersey, Stijn Devolder's Belgian National Champion jersey and Kevin Seeldrayers white jersey from the Giro d'Italia.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Tom Boonen's green jersey hangs proudly outside Patrick Lefevere's office

Tom Boonen's green jersey hangs proudly outside Patrick Lefevere's office
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Tom Boonen's name is emblazoned on these spare frames, but they could end up beneath the members of the team who ride the same size as their captain.

Tom Boonen's name is emblazoned on these spare frames, but they could end up beneath the members of the team who ride the same size as their captain.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Replacement frames are stored at the service course

Replacement frames are stored at the service course
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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A LOT of spare brake pads

A LOT of spare brake pads
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Museeuw started the day number six, but ended it number one.

Museeuw started the day number six, but ended it number one.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Spare sunglasses and chamois cream are stored upstairs.

Spare sunglasses and chamois cream are stored upstairs.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The buckets down the right-hand-side are used to organise each rider's clothing for distribution.

The buckets down the right-hand-side are used to organise each rider's clothing for distribution.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Teams bring their own water to races to prevent any potential contamination from taps.

Teams bring their own water to races to prevent any potential contamination from taps.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The Quick Step Service Course has enough space to park both of the team buses indoors.

The Quick Step Service Course has enough space to park both of the team buses indoors.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Wheels are racked with tyres fitted and ready to go.

Wheels are racked with tyres fitted and ready to go.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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You know you're in a Service Course when the boxes of bottles almost reach the roof.

You know you're in a Service Course when the boxes of bottles almost reach the roof.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Just a handful of the 20,000 bottles the team gets through each season.

Just a handful of the 20,000 bottles the team gets through each season.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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There's plenty of off-the-bike clothing to be stored too.

There's plenty of off-the-bike clothing to be stored too.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Unsurprisingly, Tom Boonen has more that one bucket with his name on it.

Unsurprisingly, Tom Boonen has more that one bucket with his name on it.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The team uses around 150 Campagnolo Record groupsets per season.

The team uses around 150 Campagnolo Record groupsets per season.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)

Quick Step have established themselves as one of the most successful teams and, in particular, Classics squads of the past decade. The Belgian squad's service course in Wevelgem has been the base of success for races including Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders and Milan-San Remo, as well stints in the leader's jerseys at both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.

The Wevelgem service course began life in 2001 as the equipment store for Quick Step Director Patrick Lefevere's then Domo-Farm Frites squad. Johan Museeuw's 2002 Paris-Roubaix winning bike sits just outside Lefevere's office, the French mud of that day still caked to its frame.

Eight months after Museeuw's triumph at Roubaix, the sky blue jerseys of Domo-Farm Frites were replaced by the now-familiar dark blue of the Quick Step brand. Despite the arrival and departure of several co-sponsors during the year's since, the team headquarters has remained the same.

Cyclingnews was guided around the facility by Quick Step Head Mechanic Jean-Marc Vandenberghe. Vandenberghe has been with the team since 2003 and is responsible for the smooth running of the six-man team of mechanics who ensure the squad's bikes are ready to go at every race they attend.

Although in recent years he has been responsible for some of the biggest one-day stars in the sport, Vandenberghe has Tour de France winning experience with both of his previous employers. He joined Quick Step from the US Postal Service team, where he served for two years, with his tenure at the US squad preceded by eight years at Telekom.

Vandenberghe is kept busy organising the care and transport of around 120 Eddy Merckx bicycles to races across the world, and also oversees a dizzying equipment list that also includes 150 Campagnolo Record groupsets, 200 sets of Look pedals, 300-400 saddles, 1200 tubular tyres, 80 deep dish wheels, 80 low profile wheels and 40 disc wheels.

Each rider in the team is usually assigned four bikes: Two training bikes - a training road bike and a training time trial bike - remain at home with the rider, while each man's two race bikes - a road bike and time trial bike - are kept at the service course and transported to races by the team mechanics.

The team's marquee riders Tom Boonen, Stijn Devolder and Sylvain Chavanel are privileged to more equipment than most. As Belgian Champion, Boonen has this year been sporting a custom painted machine decked out in red, yellow and black livery to match his jersey. The Belgian superstar has already done his bit to lift the average of bikes-per-man within the squad.

"Tom has already had 10-12 bikes this year," said Vandenberghe. "All the riders' bikes are also swapped mid-way through the season. Those starting the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta will generally start the race on a new bike. The manufacturers will usually launch new products in the middle of the year, so that can mean another switch.

"The old bikes go back to Eddy Merckx to be used for display at trade shows or at dealers. But the oldest bikes are used by Merckx for testing, so the riders play a crucial role in product improvement."

The masses of equipment require a corresponding fleet of vehicles. Quick Step's garage houses two big mechanical trucks, a smaller mechanical truck, two team buses and 15 team cars. With races spread all over Europe, the larger vehicles (and those who drive them) will cover, on average, a distance close to the circumference of the earth.

"The big trucks cover 40,000 kilometres a year, the team cars around 35,000 and the buses, which drive to the start and finish as well as to-and-from the team hotels, will do about 60,000," explained Vandenberghe.

View the gallery of images from the Quick Step Service Course.