Wilfried Peeters, known to the team as “Fitte,” is both a Belgian rider and a sport director known for his presence in the spring classics. During his professional cycling career he was a supporter for Classics legend Johan Museeuw, but had several big victories on his palmares as well. For example: Gent-Wevelgem in 1994.
“I started my career at 15 years old, and became a professional in 1986. I rode with teams including Mapei-GB from 1995 until 2000. I followed Patrick Lefevere for a long time in my career as a rider. I won about 45 races including Gent-Wevelgem. am not a guy who tries to change teams every year, which is clear as I’ve been a Sport Director with this team for a long time. I am not a guy where we sit and talk about contracts. Yes, we need them, but in my mind we shake hands and that is more than enough. Patrick knows me very well, and I know him very well, and from a rider to a sport director I saw no reason to change.”
Peeters said his rider experience as a team captain, who is the communicator between the riders and the sport directors, helps him as a sport director with Etixx-Quick-Step. “I had some good results in Paris-Roubaix that also helped me with that race,” Peeters said. “I was 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and a lot of times top 10. My last year in Paris-Roubaix I went solo for 80 kilometers. I lasted until the last cobblestones. At that moment, I thought maybe I could do another year. But I talked with Patrick and decided to stop. But those kind of results show that I really know the race, which never changes. I know every hill, every cobblestone. That info I can give to the riders. The crosswinds, what can happen, I know about these things. That kind of experience, able to give that to riders like Tom Boonen, is one of the biggest things I can do for the team.”
Peeters said the sport has certainly evolved, but the team has built a tradition with its international aspirations. “There is only one line here,” Peeters said. “We have so many riders of different nationalities, but the one line is to win together.”