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Quick Step the conqueror

The Quick Step team 2009 - the next Mapei '96?

The Quick Step team 2009 - the next Mapei '96? (Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)

Rarely has the cycling world seen a team as dominant as the Mapei-GB outfit that conquered the Spring Classics before and after the turn of the century. One day Northern France in 1996 encapsulated the essence of Patrick Lefevere's 'super squad'. Cyclingnews' Les Clarke discovers that it's a legacy the current Quick Step crew has the talent to emulate.

It's a scene most cycling fans have watched many times. The sight of three Mapei-GB riders - Johan Museeuw, Andrea Tafi and Gianluca Bortalami - crossing the finish line together in Roubaix's velodrome during the centenary edition of Paris-Roubaix is one of the sport's most memorable moments.

Tafi, his foot unclipped from the left pedal and crossing in third place, Museeuw, who had punctured eight kilometres from the finish, forcing his teammates to wait while he returned to the head of the field, and Bortalami, who received his reward for being the team player with the world's most powerful professional cycling outfit.

A Mapei-GB trifecta, the only time three riders of the same team finished in the Roubaix velodrome together, in front of the peloton, destined to share the podium in a Belgo-Italian mix of power and style.

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