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Let's get physical: Quick.Step-Innergetic ready for season 2006

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The Quick.Step-Innergetic team

The Quick.Step-Innergetic team (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Patrick Lefevre (L)

Patrick Lefevre (L) (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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The team's Dutch riders.

The team's Dutch riders. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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The Tom Boonen era

The Tom Boonen era (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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The Quick.Step-Innergetic team in its glory

The Quick.Step-Innergetic team in its glory (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tom Boonen walks on stage, resplendent in his World Champion's kit

Tom Boonen walks on stage, resplendent in his World Champion's kit (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tom Boonen interviewed as Lefevere looks on

Tom Boonen interviewed as Lefevere looks on (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Paolo Bettini is once again back as a classics lynchpin

Paolo Bettini is once again back as a classics lynchpin (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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New signing Serge Baguet in his Belgian Champion's colours

New signing Serge Baguet in his Belgian Champion's colours (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Quick.Step-Innergetic team for 2006.

The Quick.Step-Innergetic team for 2006. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Say cheese! The obligatory group photo.

Say cheese! The obligatory group photo. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Tom Boonen is interviewed by the MC.

Tom Boonen is interviewed by the MC. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Patrick Lefevre (L) and Tom Boonen share a joke.

Patrick Lefevre (L) and Tom Boonen share a joke. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Guido Trenti gets in on the catwalk action.

Guido Trenti gets in on the catwalk action. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Kevin Hulsmans returns to Quick.Step-Innergetic for another season.

Kevin Hulsmans returns to Quick.Step-Innergetic for another season. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Kevin Van Impe looks like he's in a hurry.

Kevin Van Impe looks like he's in a hurry. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Nick Nuyens has a bit of cheeky grin happening.

Nick Nuyens has a bit of cheeky grin happening. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Filippo Pozzato is one of the team's star riders.

Filippo Pozzato is one of the team's star riders. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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24 year-old Sebastien Rosseleir is a big boy.

24 year-old Sebastien Rosseleir is a big boy. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Servais Knaven, a former winner of Paris-Roubaix.

Servais Knaven, a former winner of Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Juan Manuel Garate is one of two Spanish riders on the team, along with Josè Antonio Garrido.

Juan Manuel Garate is one of two Spanish riders on the team, along with Josè Antonio Garrido. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Steven de Jongh comes from Rabobank.

Steven de Jongh comes from Rabobank. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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The team's Dutch riders.

The team's Dutch riders. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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World champ Tom Boonen looking fit.

World champ Tom Boonen looking fit. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Tom Boonen will find it difficult to repeat his amazing performances from last season.

Tom Boonen will find it difficult to repeat his amazing performances from last season. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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The Tom Boonen era has arrived.

The Tom Boonen era has arrived. (Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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The Quick.Step-Innergetic team for 2006 at their presentation in Kortrijk, Belgium.

The Quick.Step-Innergetic team for 2006 at their presentation in Kortrijk, Belgium. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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World champ Tom Boonen struts his stuff on the catwalk.

World champ Tom Boonen struts his stuff on the catwalk. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Is Tornado Tom trying to grow a mullet?

Is Tornado Tom trying to grow a mullet? (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Team manager Patrick Lefevre (L) isn't convinced the mullet is the way forward.

Team manager Patrick Lefevre (L) isn't convinced the mullet is the way forward. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Davide Viganò is one of the team's youngest riders at 21 years old.

Davide Viganò is one of the team's youngest riders at 21 years old. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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31 year-old Matteo Tosatto comes from Fassa Bortolo.

31 year-old Matteo Tosatto comes from Fassa Bortolo. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Servais Knaven, one of the team's hard working domestiques

Servais Knaven, one of the team's hard working domestiques (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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23 year-old Swiss cyclist Hubert Schwab is one of the team's two neo-professionals for the 2006 season.

23 year-old Swiss cyclist Hubert Schwab is one of the team's two neo-professionals for the 2006 season. (Image credit: AFP Photo)

News feature, January 11, 2006

2005 was once again another unforgettable year for Quick.Step-Innergetic, a team in the limelight from January right up until October, winning at least one stage win in all three of Grand Tours, five classics - Ronde Van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix, HEW-Cyclassics-Cup, Züri-Metzgete and Giro di Lombardia - and two both elite world championship titles, time trial and road.

The team gained a total of 37 UCI calendar official race wins, 17 of which were gained on the ProTour circuit, and 11 Quick.Step athletes won at least one race during the year. Alongside the stars of the season, Tom Boonen and Paolo Bettini, Nick Nuyens had a great year, winning five races including Het Volk, the GP Wallonie and overall classification of the Tour of Britain.

2005 was also the year in which Dutch rider Bram Tankink gained his first victory as a professional cyclist at the Deutschland Tour. Highly talented Filippo Pozzato also won the HEW-Cyclassics-Cup in Hamburg, the Tour of Lazio and a stage at the Deutschland Tour.

This season that has just passed is likely to go down in cycling history as the first Boonen era. 'Tornado Tom' took 14 UCI wins and six victories in secondary races, making a total of 20 wins throughout the season and becoming the first ever rider to win in the same season the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix and the world road championship, where he finished second on the UCI ProTour's individual ranking.

Madrid was icing on the cake for Boonen, having already gained some important wins in the second half of the season that included two stage wins at the Tour of France. It was in Spain that the Quick.Step-Innergetic Team also obtained a personal record with two world titles with Boonen and Michael Rogers, who won his third world time trial championship.

After Boonen's fantastic world championship victory, the season continued with "Il Grillo" Paolo Bettini's amazing finish to the season. In the space of a few days, Bettini won the Championship of Zürich after a never-seen-before breakaway and the Tour of Lombardy.

The team's challenge this year will be that of repeating or even improving on last year's almost unbeatable results.

13 new athletes have joined the team this year. From Belgium, perfectly guided by national champion Serge Baguet, the following riders have joined the young rider's team: Jurgen Van De Walle, Kevin Van Impe and Geert Verheyen. Coming from Holland are Steven De Jongh and Remmert Wielinga; joining the team from France is experienced rider Cedric Vasseur; coming from Italy are under 23 world champion from Zolder Francesco Chicchi, Matteo Tosatto, who will be joining Tom Boonen's group, Leonardo Scarselli and Ivan Santaromita, who, along with the Swiss athlete Hubert Schwab, are the team's two neo-professionals. Last but not least is the Spanish champion Juan Manuel Garate, who finished in fifth overall in last year's Giro d'Italia.

With a team like this, Quick.Step-Innergetic are positive about having another fantastic season ahead of them.

Facts and figures

In total, Quick.Step-Innergetic has 29 athletes coming from six different nations. The average age of the riders is 28 with the youngest Wouter Weylandt, who will be 21 until the 27th September; and the oldest is Davide Bramati, who turns 38 on the June 27. This year, Bramati will be leaving his position on the bike and will move into the team car as directeur-sportif after the finish of the Giro d'Italia.

The team also has six team managers, three medics, one PR officer, one press officer, six mechanics, six masseurs and one driver. There are also two people working in the team's operational office in Wevelgem. In total, the sporting group employs 53 people. The team's transport is made-up of 18 vehicles: two buses, one van, two service vans, five Peugeot 807s, five Peugeot 407 Estate cars, one saloon car, one Peugeot 307 and a VIP car.

This season, the Quick.Step-Innergetic team will take part in 88 races from the international calendar, making a total of 255 racing days. The first race of the season will be the G.P. of Doha in Qatar on the January 27, 2006. For the first time in the team's history, a small group of athletes will be travelling to America to take part in the Tour of Georgia.

A few more curious facts and figures about the team:

Bikes and components:

120 bikes at our disposal
29 crono bikes at our disposal
180 pairs of wheels
60 pairs of wheels specifically for racing on cobbles

Clothing used by the riders in one season:

8,000 cycling caps
500 gloves
450 pairs of socks
350 pairs of racing shorts
500 jerseys

Food consumed during races:

500 litres of olive oil
120kg parmesan cheese
1,000kg of pasta
22,000 drink bottles and 5,000 musettes

Team roster

Returning to the team from last year:

Paolo Bettini, 31 y.o. (Ita)
Tom Boonen, 25 y.o. (Bel)
Davide Bramati, 37 y.o. (Ita)
Wilfried Cretskens, 29 y.o. (Bel)
Addy Engels, 28 y.o. (Ned)
Josè Antonio Garrido, 30 y.o. (Spa)
Kevin Hulsmans, 27 y.o. (Bel)
Servais Knaven, 34 y.o. (Ned)
Nick Nuyens, 25 y.o. (Bel)
Bram Tankink, 27 y.o. (Ned)
Sebastien Rosseler, 24 y.o. (Bel)
Kevin De Weert, 23 y.o. (Bel)
Filippo Pozzato, 24 y.o. (Ita)
Guido Trenti, 33 y.o. (Ita)
Davide Viganò, 21 y.o. (Ita)
Wouter Weylandt, 21 y.o. (Bel)

New riders:

Serge Baguet, 36 y.o. (Bel), from Davitamon Lotto
Francesco Chicchi, 25 y.o. (Ita) - from Fassa Bortolo
Steven De Jongh, 32 y.o. (Ned) - from Rabobank
Juan Manuel Garate, 29 y.o. (Spa) - from Saunier-Duval
Ivan Santaromita, 21 y.o. (Ita) - neoprof
Leonardo Scarselli, 29 y.o. (Ita) - from Selle Italia
Hubert Schwab, 23 y.o. (Swi) - neoprof
Matteo Tosatto, 31 y.o. (Ita) - from Fassa Bortolo
Jurgen Van De Walle, 28 y.o. (Bel) - from Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
Kevin Van Impe, 24 y.o. (Bel) - from Chocolade Jacques-T Interim
Cedric Vasseur, 35 y.o. (Fra) - from Cofidis
Geert Verheyen, 32 y.o. (Bel) - from Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
Remmert Wielinga, 27 y.o. (Ned) - from Rabobank

Race programme up to July 2006

27/01: Doha International G.P.
30/01-03/02: Tour of Qatar
05-09/02: Challenge Mallorca
08-12/02: Tour Méditerranéen
12-16/02: Ruta del Sol
14/02: Trofeo Laigueglia
18/02: Tour du Haut Var
19/02: Classic Haribo
21-25/02: Vuelta Valenciana
25/02: Omloop Het Volk
26/02: Kuurne - Bruxelles - Kuurne
03-05/03: Record-Driedaagse Van West Vlaanderen
05-12/03: Paris - Nice
08-14/03: Tirreno - Adriatico
15/03: Nokere Koerse
18/03: Milano - Sanremo
19/03: G.P. Rudy Dhaenens
21-25/03: Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale Coppi e Bartali
22/03: Dwars door Vlaanderen Waregem
25/03: G.P. E3 Harelbeke
26/03: Brabantse Pijl
28-30/03: KBC Driedaagse van De Panne - Koksijde
02/04: Tour des Flandres
03-07/04: Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco
05/04: Gent - Wevelgem
06/04: G.P. Cerami
09/04: Paris - Roubaix
12/04: Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen
16/04: Amstel Gold Race
18-23/04: Tour of Georgia
19/04: La Flèche Wallone
23/04: Liège - Bastogne - Liège
25-30/05: Tour de Romandie
03-07/05: 4 Jours Dunkerque
06-28/05: Giro d'Italia
15-21/05: Volta a Catalunya
24-28/05: Tour de Belgique
04/06: G.P. Gippingen
04-11/06: Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
10-18/06: Tour de Suisse
14-17/06: Sterelektrotour
18/06: Contre la Montre par équipe
25/06: Championnats Nationaux
01-23/07: Tour de France