New signings include sprinter Elia Viviani, who replaces Katusha-Alpecin bound Marcel Kittel. Other riders moving on include Matteo Trentin (Orica-Scott), David de la Cruz (Team Sky), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates), Julien Vermote (Dimension Data), Jack Bauer (Orica-Scott) and Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo), while Tom Boonen retired last spring and Martin Velits followed suit later in the season.
Other new signings are Alvaro Hodeg (a stagiaire with the team in 2017), Fabio Jakobsen (SEG Racing Academy), James Knox (Team Wiggins), Michael Mørkøv (Katusha), Jhonatan Narvaez (Axeon Hagens Berman) and Florian Sénéchal (Cofidis). The influx of younger riders and four neo-pros lowers the team’s average to 26.85 years, making it one of the youngest teams in the UCI WorldTour.
Quick-Step Floors won 56 races in 2017, pushing its 15-season all-time tally to 615 victories. Fourteen riders took victories in 29 different races. Gaviria won four stages at the Giro d’Italia, Kittel won five stages at the Tour de France and Trentin won four sprints at the Vuelta a Espana. Gilbert won the Tour of Flanders, while Alaphilippe was third at Milan-San Remo and second at Il Lombardia.
Team manager Patrick Lefevere worked hard to find new major sponsors for 2018 but eventually extended with the Belgian team’s current backers, including bike sponsor Specialized. Lefevere was unable to retain the services of Kittel and Martin, who were highly sought after their success in the 2017 Tour de France.
Like many other WorldTour teams, Quick-Step Floors has reduced its roster from 31 to 27 riders in reflection of the UCI reducing team sizes in the Grand Tours, stage races and one-day races. He considers 2018 the start of a new chapter in the life of the Quick-Step Floors team.
“We have many new riders, some of them very young, but we look with the same confidence and excitement to the new season which looms just around the corner,” Lefevere said confirming the roster.
“Last season was a spectacular one and next year we’ll try to be again in the mix, be it Classics or stage races, and replicate many of the great 2017 wins.
“The riders and the staff are always working hard, they know that getting to the top and staying there it’s no easy task, but they are all professionals and very passionate about what they are doing, and seeing their relentless dedication makes me very optimistic and eager about taking on the new season.”
The Quick-Step Floors team will hold its official presentation on January 9 in Calpe, Spain.
Quick-Step Floors roster for 2018: Julian Alaphilippe, Eros Capecchi, Rémi Cavagna, Laurens De Plus, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Fernando Gaviria, Philippe Gilbert, Alvaro Hodeg, Fabio Jakobsen, Bob Jungels, Iljo Keisse, James Knox, Yves Lampaert, Davide Martinelli, Enric Mas, Michael Mørkøv, Jhonatan Narvaez, Maximiliano Richeze, Fabio Sabatini, Maximilian Schachmann, Florian Sénéchal, Pieter Serry, Zdenek Stybar, Niki Terpstra, Petr Vakoc and Elia Viviani.