Quick-Step brings five stage winners to Tour de France
PARIS (AFP) — Belgian Philippe Gilbert, German sprint ace Marcel Kittel, and Ireland’s Dan Martin lead Quick-Step Floors’s multi-pronged assault on the Tour de France, which starts Saturday in Germany.
Alongside the trio are Zdenek Stybar and Matteo Trentin. Stybar recently won Czech national championships. Each of the five aforementioned riders have won at least one Tour stage.
Martin, the nephew of 1987 Giro and Tour champion Stephen Roche, has had an impressive season so far. He finished second in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and La Flèche Wallonne and third in Paris-Nice and Critérium du Dauphiné.
The Irishman is aiming to improve on his ninth-place GC finish in last year’s Tour.
On the sprint stages, the team will support Kittel as he tries to become the third active rider with at least 10 Tour stage wins. He racked up four victories in the 2013 and 2014 Tours, and one last year to bring his current total to nine.
Gilbert is racing his first Tour in four years and hopes to be in the mix on the hilly stages. In his first season with Quick-Step, the Belgian veteran stormed through the spring classics. He won Tour of Flanders in a solo breakaway and Amstel Gold Race.
Quick-Step’s entire Tour squad has accounted for 17 of the team’s 35 wins this season.
Quick-Step Floors for the 2017 Tour de France
Philippe Gilbert (B)
Jack Bauer (NZ)
Gianluca Brambilla (I)
Marcel Kittel (G)
Dan Martin (Irl)
Fabio Sabatini (I)
Zdenek Stybar (Cz)
Matteo Trentin (I)
Julien Vermote (B)