Quick-Step takes the early lead
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Quick-Step takes the early lead

by Steve Jones at 5:56 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
After the dust has settled and the first UCI World race has been run, Patrick Lefevere's Quick-Step team has risen to the top at the Tour Down Under.

The teams' result is thanks to their relatively new recruit, Australian Allan Davis, who joined the team last September. The rider was initially unable to secure a Pro Tour team contract for the 2008 season, but eventually earned a spot on Team Quick-Step.

Lefevere was not present for the race, but had some positive words for the team he sent to Australia. "We’re extremely satisfied," Lefevere said of his teams' performance, "It’s a matter of great pride to be ahead in these standings."

Emerging from a long battle to right a wrong done to him by the Operation Puerto case, the sprinter leapt out of the peloton day-after-day, finally able to leave behind the difficult times for a bright future.

"Davis proved himself as a high caliber athlete and completely lived up to the faith we placed in him when we signed him last season," Lefevere commented.

Davis won three stages of the TDU as well as the general classification making history as the first individual leader in the UCI World Ranking ahead of fellow countryman Stuart O’Grady from Team Saxo-Bank.

Lefevere was also optimistic about the crop of young riders that brought home the first win of the season.

"Another nice surprise in our trip abroad has been the group of young riders on the team, like Dries Devenyns, Kurt Hovelijnck, Hubert Schwab, Francesco Reda and Davide Malacarne," said Lefevere. "They rode great races and were able to gain some experience by following the examples of more experienced riders like Matteo Tosatto. The season is still going to be long and hard, but thanks to these results, we’re definitely off to the best possible start."

Quick-Step leads UCI team rankings with 122 points, ahead of Bjarne Riis' Saxo Bank outfit, and Spanish team Caisse d’Epargne.
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