Former BMC Racing rider Philippe Gilbert joined up with fellow Classics legend Tom Boonen on the roads with his new Quick-Step Floors team this week at training camp in Calpe, Spain, before the Belgian team begins to split up, with part of the squad heading for the WorldTour opener at the Tour Down Under and others preparing for their 2017 European campaigns.
Boonen will begin his season in Argentina at the Vuelta a San Juan, while Gilbert will likely start his season at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
The 2017 Quick-Step Floors roster features 29 riders, including eight new recruits, from 13 countries. The average age is 27. Joining Gilbert as newcomers at the camp are Jack Bauer from Cannondale-Drapac, Eros Capecchi from Astana, Tim Declercq from Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Dries Devenyns from IAM Cycling and a trio of riders from Klein Constantia: Remi Cavagna, Enric Mas and Maximilian Schachmann.
“We are really looking forward to this 15th chapter since the inception of the team, an important one that awaits to be written, and we hope it will bring us, our sponsors and our fans many satisfactions and memorable moments,” team manager Patrick Lefevere said on the team’s website.
“Last year was another fantastic one for our team: 57 victories, 18 of which came in the WorldTour, including nine Grand Tour stages and the TTT World Championships," Lefevere said. "For the fifth season in a row, we were the most winningest outfit of the peloton, taking the team's all-time tally to more than 550 victories. These are some very impressive numbers that make us proud and happy, but at the same time they give us renewed motivation to reach new heights in the season that will soon start.”
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