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Etixx-QuickStep officially launch 2016 team on the Eddy Merckx velodrome - Gallery

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Iljo Keisse and Tom Boonen on the track for one of the exhibition races at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Iljo Keisse and Tom Boonen on the track for one of the exhibition races at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders meet with fans at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Riders meet with fans at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders on the track at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Riders on the track at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders are motorpaced on the track at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Riders are motorpaced on the track at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The race is underway at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

The race is underway at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders test their track-stand skills at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Riders test their track-stand skills at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders test their track-stand skills at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Riders test their track-stand skills at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Director Tom Steels and Iljo Kiesse.

Director Tom Steels and Iljo Kiesse. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wilfried Peeters and Tom Steels at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Wilfried Peeters and Tom Steels at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Davide Bramati at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Davide Bramati at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jan Schaffrath and Koen Pelgrim at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Jan Schaffrath and Koen Pelgrim at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen signs an autograph at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Tom Boonen signs an autograph at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Kiesse signs an autograph at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Iljo Kiesse signs an autograph at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen waves to the crowd at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Tom Boonen waves to the crowd at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders circle the track at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Riders circle the track at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders circle the track while Patrick Lefevere addresses the crowd.

Riders circle the track while Patrick Lefevere addresses the crowd. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mercel Kittel greets fans at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Mercel Kittel greets fans at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel poses for a photo with a fan at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Marcel Kittel poses for a photo with a fan at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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 Laurens de Plus at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Laurens de Plus at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Kiesse at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Iljo Kiesse at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen meets with fans at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Tom Boonen meets with fans at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dan Martin signs an autograph at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Dan Martin signs an autograph at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wilfried Peeters and tom Steels at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Wilfried Peeters and tom Steels at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Director Wilfried Peeters at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Director Wilfried Peeters at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders loop the Eddy Merckx track at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Riders loop the Eddy Merckx track at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel getting used to his new team kit at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Marcel Kittel getting used to his new team kit at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dan Martin signs an autograph at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Dan Martin signs an autograph at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen and Iljo Kiesse at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Tom Boonen and Iljo Kiesse at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Tom Boonen at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel and Fabio Sabatini at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Marcel Kittel and Fabio Sabatini at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tony Martin and Yves Lampaert at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Tony Martin and Yves Lampaert at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tony Martin and Yves Lampaert at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Tony Martin and Yves Lampaert at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen and Dirk Nachtergaelle at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Tom Boonen and Dirk Nachtergaelle at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel signs and autograph at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Marcel Kittel signs and autograph at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Etixx-QuickStep general manager Patrick Lefevere speaks to the crowd during the team presentation.

Etixx-QuickStep general manager Patrick Lefevere speaks to the crowd during the team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel and Tom Boonen share a laugh at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation

Marcel Kittel and Tom Boonen share a laugh at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen hydrates at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation

Tom Boonen hydrates at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen hydrates at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation

Tom Boonen hydrates at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Patrick Lefevere shoots the starter's pistol at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Patrick Lefevere shoots the starter's pistol at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Patrick Lefevere shoots the starter's pistol at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Patrick Lefevere shoots the starter's pistol at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Zdenek Bakala, Bessel Kok and Eddy Merckx at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation.

Zdenek Bakala, Bessel Kok and Eddy Merckx at the Etixx-QuickStep presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Etixx-QuickStep round the Eddy Merckx velodrome at the team presentation.

Etixx-QuickStep round the Eddy Merckx velodrome at the team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Etixx-QuickStep round the Eddy Merckx velodrome at the team presentation.

Etixx-QuickStep round the Eddy Merckx velodrome at the team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Etixx-QuickStep round the Eddy Merckx velodrome at the team presentation.

Etixx-QuickStep round the Eddy Merckx velodrome at the team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fans watch Etixx-QuickStep round the Eddy Merckx velodrome at the team presentation.

Fans watch Etixx-QuickStep round the Eddy Merckx velodrome at the team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bessel Kok and Zdenek Bakala at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation.

Bessel Kok and Zdenek Bakala at the Etixx-QuickStep team presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Etixx-QuickStep gathered at the Eddy Merckx Velodrome in Gent on Tuesday to officially launch the 2016 team in front of sponsors and fans.

The entire team was present for the launching except for South Americans Ariel Richese, Fernando Gaviria and Rodrigo Contreras; the six-rider Tour Down Under squad, and Niki Terpstra, who is competing at the Rotterdam Six Day.

“For us riders this event is really special,” said Tom Boonen. “We like the idea of presenting ourselves to our sponsors, to their clients and to our fans with a reunion on the track, on our bikes. It’s a dynamic presentation in which the team and the bikes are the stars. Also, the public is really close to the track. It’s wonderful to feel the warmth and cheers coming from the crowd.”

The evening event included a series of races on the track where the riders challenged each other in a cycling exhibition. The races were especially exciting for track specialist Iljo Keisse.

“In the team we’ve already been talking about it for the last few days,” Keisse said in astate,ent released by the team before the presentation. “The newcomers to the team will be surprised by the cheers and the experience of the attending public. It’s going to be a lot of fun, as it has been in the last several years. I’m looking forward to dedicating a few ‘wheelies’ to our guests.”

Etixx-QuickStep CEO Patrick Lefevere said the presentation was an important public relations moment for the team’s partners and their clients, providing a chance to see the team live before the riders and staff are consumed by the race season.

“For us it is also a way to thank them for their support throughout the season,” Lefevere said. “Of course, it’s also a great opportunity for our supporters, at least for those who live in Belgium or nearby. For all the others there will be some fantastic photos and a video review of the event, which will be released in the days following the presentation and in which they will be able to relive the magical atmosphere of this event.”