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Dries Devenyns gets second crack in classics for Quick-Step

The 33-year-old returned to Quick-Step Floors this season after previously racing on the team from 2009-2013.

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Racing for Quick-Step Floors during the spring classics is akin to making the World Series starting lineup for the New York Yankees. There’s a lot of depth on the Quick-Step bench and no room for charity when it comes to selecting the eight riders that will line up for the monuments.

Dries Devenyns, 33, gets a second crack at racing the spring classics with Quick-Step, and he hopes to make the most of it. He raced with the Belgian franchise for five years (2009-2013) but chased his own fortunes for three seasons, notching two big wins last year at the Wallonie and Belgian tours. Now he’s back and ready to race.

“[Team CEO] Patrick [Lefevere] normally doesn’t take someone back, so I am happy with my chance to return to this team,” Devenyns said. “I want to show myself in the upcoming races.”

Devenyns will see his chances. The spring classics are just around the corner, and all eyes will be on who makes the classics selection for Quick-Step. The team saw several key departures among its classics team, with Gianni Meersman retiring and Stijn Vandenbergh, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Tony Martin, and Nikolas Maes changing teams. In addition to Devenyns, the team added Jack Bauer, Eros Capecchi, and Tim Declercq, among some other neo-pros.

That means there’s some room at the top, but Quick-Step has unrivaled depth for the springs classics. The arrival of Philippe Gilbert gives the team more options in the Ardennes classics, and Gilbert will be racing at the Tour of Flanders before heading to the Ardennes. There’s Tom Boonen and Niki Terpstra, two former winners at Paris-Roubaix, and behind them are Matteo Trentin, Zdenek Stybar, Julian Alaphilippe, Bob Jungels, Dan Martin, and Fernando Gaviria.

Of course, with so many captains, there needs to be some workers. That’s where Devenyns fits in.

“There are many good riders, so that is why the team performs so well,” he said. “The leaders are Boonen, Terpstra, and Gilbert — three of them have won monuments, so at the start of the race, they are the big favorites. The rest of us do our jobs.”

Devenyns’ first chance comes this weekend at with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne to open the Belgian classics calendar. He’ll be fighting for a spot on teams for Milano-Sanremo and Flanders before slotting into the Ardennes.

As much as Devenyns is excited to be back in a Quick-Step jersey, he doesn’t show it. He’s a pro going about his job. But he knows the chance to have a front-row view of Boonen’s last rumble across the pavé is something special.

“It is special for the team and for the world of cycling, so it will be a big show,” he said. “He is a good teammate, and everyone wants to work hard for him. We hope to get the big win for him and for the team.”

Talk like that will get you in the starting lineup.