Belgian team Etixx-Quick Step has had big changes since the end of the 2015 season with the likes of Mark Cavendish departing for Dimension Data, former World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski joining Team Sky and Rigoberto Uran signing for Cannondale Pro Cycling.
The big names joining the team this year are German sprinter Marcel Kittel, Luxembourg champion Bob Jungels and Dan Martin. Others to sign for Etixx are the Argentinean Maximiliano Richeze and the Colombian rider Fernando Gaviria who took stage wins in the Tour de San Luis and Tour of Britain last year.
Team manager of Etixx-Quick Step feels that Kittel is capable of returning to winning ways after a difficult 2015 season and that the atmosphere within the camp is going to help ensure another successful year for the team.
“I really like the team,” Lefevere explained on the team’s website. “I witnessed a nice atmosphere at our first retreat in Denia and I’m sure that the vibe and the team will grow even more. We have 30 riders on the roster from 13 different countries, with an average age of just 27.
“The new arrivals have been well integrated. Dan Martin is a shoe-in for his races. He’s a complete rider that any team would like to have.”
“Kittel is on the right path to returning to his 2013 and 2014 level, when he caught the public’s attention, and he can count on an experienced man like Richeze.”
“Gaviria is a talent who we can cultivate in due time. Contreras, De Plus and Martinelli are young riders with different experiences, but with excellent possibilities for growth and success in the near future. Jungels is a rider whose limits we still haven’t found out.”