Quick.Step to control first week

The Belgian Quick.Step team sees itself as the squad who will largely control possible mass sprint finishes during the first, flat week of the Tour de France. As team director Patrick Lefévère told the official site of the Tour, letour.fr, Tom Boonen will be the squad's leader until the race gets to the mountains, which also brings about responsibilities inside the peloton.

"In fact, it is a setback for us that Petacchi won't be there," Lefévère said, contrary to the thought that his absence would mean one rival less for Boonen. "Fassa Bortolo is a team that takes its responsibilities when it comes to leading the peloton to catch breakaways. They are good companions on the road. This year, however, I'm afraid we will be forced to work alone and it will be very hard to control the race if the others don't play ball." Lefévère, who confirmed that Boonen will be a "serious candidate" for the Green jersey if he's in top form, added that the squad's ambitions nevertheless included the time trials, as well as the mountain stages.

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