Soudal Quick-Step returned to the stunning Estimar Sol y Mar Hotel this week for the first training camp of the year, which also included the team presentation ahead of the 2024 season, which we will start in just a couple of days at the Tour Down Under.
Comprising 27 riders – including four who made the step to the World Tour from our Devo squad – representing nine different countries, and having an average age of 27 years, the Soudal Quick-Step roster is one of the youngest in the World Tour, but that doesn’t mean it lacks any experience, the members of the squad boasting a combined 218 pro wins.
The first person to take center stage Tuesday afternoon in Calpe was CEO Patrick Lefevere: “We enter this season after what has been another strong year for the team. We won from the first until the last month, we enjoyed many unforgettable moments and wins, and we hope to be again at the top. We have a solid squad, comprising riders capable of getting results in all types of races, and we start the season with a good morale, a huge motivation and the hope to win early again. We also like to invest in new people, in young riders as you can see, but also in staff, and Jurgen Foré is one of these persons, someone who I am confident can help our project in both short-term and long-term.”
“I am happy to be in this team, which gave me a very warm welcome in December, when I joined them for the first time, and I already feel part of this organisation. I found a great mentality here and going into this season we want to remain a winning team, and for this everybody needs to be the best version of themselves. We want to develop a strategy that focuses not just on this season, but also on the future of the team. This is a strong and resilient squad, we want to stand by our values and to preserve the Wolfpack culture”, added Jurgen Foré, Soudal Quick-Step’s Chief Operation Officer.
During the presentation it was announced that Belgian Champion Remco Evenepoel will make his much-anticipated Tour de France debut this season, and the 23-year-old – who has one of the most impressive lists of achievements in the current peloton – talked about discovering the Grande Boucle in July.
“Last year was a very special one, with many ups, from winning Liège–Bastogne–Liège in the rainbow jersey to becoming ITT World Champion, so I can be proud of how things went, despite a couple of downs, like getting ill during the Giro and retiring in a moment when I was leading the race”, said Remco, who will start his campaign next month at the Figueira Champions Classic, which will be followed by the Volta ao Algarve. “But all that happened in 2023 is in the past now and my entire focus is on this year. I will race a lot in France in the coming months and I’m hoping for some more good results and a nice debut in Le Tour.”
One of the best climbers in the World Tour, twice a top-three finisher at the Giro d’Italia, and victorious on what was arguably the hardest stage in the history of La Vuelta nine years ago, Mikel Landa has joined the Wolfpack ahead of this season. The experienced Basque, who will reinforce our climbing contingent, is looking forward to this fresh challenge and to bringing his contribution to the team’s achievements.
Coming to this team motivated me, and I can’t wait to get things started in just a couple of weeks. I have a lot of experience and I hope to share it with the younger riders here. I want to use my Grand Tours experience to help the team and Remco as I really believe I can contribute to the overall success here. At the same time, I will go for my chances whenever possible, and later into the season I hope to do well at the Vuelta a España”, explained Mikel, whose 14th pro season will get underway in the same Portuguese races.
Soudal Quick-Step’s roster for 2024: Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen, Ayco Bastiaens, Mattia Cattaneo, Josef Cerny, Remco Evenepoel, Gil Gelders, Jan Hirt, Antoine Huby, James Knox, Yves Lampaert, Luke Lamperti, Mikel Landa, William Junior Lecerf, Paul Magnier, Fausto Masnada, Tim Merlier, Gianni Moscon, Casper Pedersen, Pieter Serry, Martin Svrcek, Bert Van Lerberghe, Ilan Van Wilder, Warre Vangheluwe, Mauri Vansevenant, Louis Vervaeke, Jordi Warlop.