January 1, 2018 by Irish Peloton
Team of the Year 2017
Regardless, I’ve seen a few people make the case for Team Sunweb. Their highlights were the Giro d’Italia and the Worlds Time Trial via Tom Dumoulin, while also taking the Green and Polka-Dot jerseys at the Tour de France (with stage wins along the way) through Michael Matthews and Warren Barguil. A fantastic season for Team Sunweb, no doubt.
But I’m here to make the case for Quick Step. The Belgian team didn’t only beat their rivals regularly throughout the year 2017, if we consider certain statistics, they also took their place amongst the great teams in cycling history.
Firstly, to frame their achievements within 2017 only, they won more races than any other team with 56. Their closest challengers to that particular crown were BMC with 48 followed by Team Sky with 34.
But what is more interesting is to compare their achievements with every team that ever existed, because Quick Step achieved two things which allows them to consider themselves to have had one of the greatest years ever.
16 Grand Tour Stage wins
|24||1977||Flandria||10 - Maertens (7), Demeyer (2), Pollentier||0||14 - Maertens (13), Pollentier|
|17||2003||Fassa Bartolo||8 - Petacchi (6), Gonzalez, Frigo||4 - Petacchi (4)||5 - Petacchi (5)|
|17||2009||Columbia HTC||6 - Cavendish (3), Boasson Hagen, Siutsou, TTT||6 - Cavendish (6)||5 - Greipel (4), Henderson|
|16||2004||Fassa Bartolo||9 - Petacchi (9)||3 - Cancellara, Pozzato, Gonzalez||4 - Petacchi (4)|
|16||2017||Quick Step||5 - Gaviria (4), Jungels||5 - Kittel (5)||6 - Trentin (4), Alaphilippe, Lampaert|
They are also only the second team in cycling history after Columbia-HTC in 2009 to win at least five stages in each of the three Grand Tours in a single year. These kinds of achievements have become much more realistic for teams in recent years because before the ProTour began in 2005 it was very much the exception for a team to even take part in all three Grand Tours, rather than the rule. But actually managing to win this many stages, even in the modern era with larger squads competitive across more races is still very rare.
Podium place in all five monument classics
Not only were Quick Step dominant in the Grand Tours, but they were always present in the classics too. Only two teams had ever done this before, detailed in the table below:
|Year||Team||Milan San Remo||Tour of Flanders||Paris - Roubaix||Liege - Bastogne - Liege||Tour of Lombardy|
|2006||Quick Step||1st - Pozzato||1st - Boonen||2nd - Boonen||2nd - Bettini||1st - Bettini|
|2011||Leopard Trek||2nd - Cancellara||3rd - Cancellara||2nd - Cancellara||2nd - F. Schleck|
3rd - A. Schleck
|1st - Zaugg|
|2017||Quick Step||3rd - Alaphilippe||1st - Gilbert|
3rd - Terpstra
|2nd - Stybar||2nd - Martin||2nd - Alaphilippe|
Eddy Merckx actually came close to doing this on his own, twice. He finished on the podium of four Monument classics in 1969 and 1975 but never managed all five.