The prestigious award was the cherry on the top of what has been a phenomenal year.
The 2018 season couldn't have started any better, with new signing Elia Viviani opening the account by taking a stage victory at the Tour Down Under, in January. Little did the Italian know 17 more wins – including a GC one, seven Grand Tour stages and the prized National Title – would follow over the next eight months, making him the most successful rider of the year.
Viviani was one of the 15 different Quick-Step Floors riders to inscribe their name on the long list of successes which took our team to the top of the victory standings for the seventh consecutive year, a significant milestone for the outfit run by Patrick Lefevere, which since its inception in 2003 has amassed close to 700 UCI wins.
As the season progressed, The Wolfpack continued to shine, howling their way to other outstanding victories; among the squad's high points were the Classics (E3 Harelbeke, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Flèche Wallonne, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Clasica San Sebastian, Cyclassics Hamburg), a handful of National Championships titles, two distinctive jerseys and 13 stages at the Grand Tours and the World Team Time Trial Championships for a record fourth time.
When the curtain came down last week at the Tour of Guangxi, Quick-Step Floors had scored 73 victories in 22 different countries across five continents. Of these wins, 37 were nabbed on the World Tour and saw our team beat the previous record, set in 2017. A superb consistency and a startling run of results throughout a long and intense year, capped off at the UCI Gala in Guilin, where Quick-Step Floors were crowned World Tour Champions.
"It's truly extraordinary what we have achieved in 2018 and the whole squad is part of this success. It's a fantastic proof of what you can accomplish through team spirit, hard work and dedication from everybody involved and an unstoppable motivation to win cycling races. It's very much a once in a lifetime season", a happy Patrick Lefevere said. "Topping the UCI World Tour Team Classification for the first time in the history of Quick-Step Floors with a total of over 13 000 points and such a hefty advantage is a culmination of all these things I have just mentioned and an achievement that gives me great pride."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images