Quick-Step Floors have enjoyed a record-breaking year, with 73 UCI wins scored by 14 riders in 22 countries. Over the next weeks we will look back on the 10 biggest moments for the team, and today we continue with Yves' victory at the National Championships.
One of the six Quick-Step Floors riders to line up at the start of the Belgian Road Race Championships, held over a 223.6km course in and around Binche very much to his liking – with cobblestones and small hills peppering the route – Yves Lampaert made full use of the team's numerical advantage and put in a majestic ride four months ago, soloing to a career-defining win.
After breaking clear inside the last 20 kilometers together with Philippe Gilbert, Pieter Serry, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First), Yves and his teammates took in turns to attack their rivals on the fast cobbles of Binche, eventually forcing an important selection with one lap to go, when he found himself in the lead, joined only by Philippe and Stuyven.
With just over three kilometers left, Lampaert rode away from his companions and never looked back, gaining a significant chunk of time over the chasing group, from where Philippe took off when he sensed that Stuyven was on the limit. In the meantime, the 27-year-old native of Izegem was howling his was over the finish line, having pulled off a memorable victory, his first at the Belgian Road Race Championships, which came twelve months from a maiden success in the individual time trial.
"What a day that was! We showed again how strong we are as a Wolfpack. We ride together, always for each other, and it's just unbelievable to be part of this unique team. Everything was pretty surreal. The people, the atmosphere, the parcours, all these made for a beautiful race. It felt like a classic out there and I enjoyed it to the max!"
Yves, whose success at the Nationals weighed heavily in the Flandrien of the Year being awarded to him at the end of the season, continued: "That victory wouldn't have been possible without this superb team and Philippe's help, that's why immediately after the finish I thanked him. Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Belgian Title and the World Team Time Trial Championships – many dreams of mine became reality in 2018 and this makes me hope for an even bigger season in 2019."
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen/ Getty Images