Quick-Step Floors cap off fantastic Grand Tour season in Madrid
Matteo Trentin took his fourth stage victory at the Vuelta a Espana, netting the team's 16th Grand Tour stage win of the season, an all-time record for Quick-Step Floors.
Since 2003, Quick-Step Floors are winning races and creating memories, and this season the outfit managed by Patrick Lefevere didn't divert from this philosophy, which made our team the most successful in each of the past five seasons. Spring Classics, Giro d'Italia, Tour de France or Vuelta a España, you name it, Quick-Step Floors were always there in the thick of the action, shaping the race with their aggressive approach and scoring numerous wins with no less than 14 different riders.
Most recent sensational run – one for the history books – came at the Vuelta a España, where the squad's fantastic determination and teamwork led to six stage victories, brought by Julian Alaphilippe, Yves Lampaert and Matteo Trentin, the latter becoming only the third rider this season to win at least four Grand Tour stages, after teammates Fernando Gaviria (Giro d'Italia) and Marcel Kittel (Tour de France).
The final day of the Vuelta was a stroll in the park only until the peloton reached the local circuit in Madrid, where attacks fired off the the front as several riders tried to make it into the breakaway. Quick-Step Floors dutifully moved to the head of proceedings and marshaled the bunch, shutting down all these actions until the intermediate sprint, which was nabbed by Matteo, who had his eyes also on the coveted green jersey.
One of the strongest and most dominant teams in the race, Quick-Step Floors controlled also the final 30 kilometers of stage 21, brought the three riders who formed an escape back in the peloton and delivered Matteo Trentin in a perfect position for the final sprint of the 72nd Vuelta a España.
The 28-year-old accelerated with 200 meters to go and easily captured his seventh Grand Tour victory, over Lorrenzo Manzin (FDJ) and Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb). Trentin came close to take home also the green jersey, which in the end rested on the shoulders of GC winner Chris Froome (Team Sky), after the overall leader got involved in the bunch sprint.
"The guys were again awesome today and executed the plan perfectly, so I want to say a big thank you to them, not only for today, but for their entire work during these three hard weeks! We took the reins once we entered on the circuit and didn't leave anything to chance. I'll admit, it would have been nice to get also the green jersey, but I won't let that spoil these fantastic moments. We can be extremely proud of what we've achieved in this race: six stages is a remarkable run and this victory in Madrid is the cherry on the top", a beaming Matteo Trentin said after concluding his first Vuelta a España.
Patrick Lefevere – Quick-Step Floors' CEO – joined the team for the final stage in the capital of Spain, which he watched on-site, and echoed Matteo's feelings at the end of the season's last Grand Tour: "I am delighted and very proud of this team. What we've done in the three Grand Tours this year is really outstanding and I can't find the words to tell you what it means for me. We won and we did it by showing panache and an incredible cohesion, which is even more remarkable. Only a couple of teams in the history of cycling took 16 Grand Tour stage victories in a single season, and as of today, we are one of these squads, which makes me very happy."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele