The Etixx-QuickStep team again topped the table as the most successful in 2015, winning 54 races during the season, yet despite the Belgian team's success, Patrick Lefevere has shaken up the team for 2016 in the hope of laying down the foundations for an even more successful long-term future.
"I think it was another great year for us. We won 54 races. I think we won at least 10 races more than the second team," Lefevere told Cyclingnews with pride as he discussed the 2015 season and looked to 2016.
According to the Procyclingstats website, Team Sky was a distant second best with 45 victories, while the likes of Lotto Soudal and Katusha won 40 races. Lefevere is aware that Etixx-Quickstep was only fourth in the WorldTour team rankings but claims that his riders won quality races as well in quantity.
Lefevere has managed some of the biggest teams and most difficult riders in the peloton during the past 20 years, creating a Belgian dynasty that has dominated the Classics and won races around the globe. He is an astute player of the transfer market whenever he makes any major changes in his team roster. He carefully invests in young talent when he sees real potential but is not afraid to negotiate hard when his team leaders push for new, more lucrative contracts.
Fernando Gaviria could develop into a sprinting sensation, while Davide Martinelli is one of he best young Italian riders of his generation despite Team Sky deciding not to sign him. Lefevere has also brought on board supermarket chain Lidl as a sponsor, replacing Renson on the rear of the shorts.
"Trentin is maybe too good to be a lead-out man, but he, like others, can do it in some races," Lefevere suggested. "It's about automatics. In December and January we can train for it."
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