Quick-Step Floors have enjoyed a record-breaking year, with 73 UCI wins scored by 14 riders in 22 countries, one of our 10 biggest moments being Elia's vintage season.
Elia Viviani raised his game in 2018, a year in which the Verona-born rider was at his scintillating best from January until September, when he closed out his campaign arms aloft on Madrid's Gran Via, where he captured his 18th victory of a season that saw him finish at the top of the individual wins classification for the first time in his career.
"When I joined the team, I knew it was a huge opportunity for me and a new chapter in my career was starting. Quick-Step Floors was the best choice I could make last year, as it is one of the biggest squads in the world with a fantastic pedigree, a team that has excelled in the art of sprinting over the years and which I was confident could help me improve."
Elia and his dedicated sprint train clicked immediately, just as the Italian was embarking on a worldwide odyssey, which he kicked off in Australia, at the Tour Down Under, before moving to the Middle East for the Dubai Tour and Abu Dhabi Tour, and later to Europe, where he left an indelible mark in both one-day races (such as Cyclassics Hamburg) and multi-stage events, a remarkable consistency that elevated him to third at the end of the year in the World Tour individual ranking.
By far and away the fastest sprinter of the season, Viviani collected ten victories at World Tour level, seven of these successes being netted in Grand Tour stages, at the Giro d'Italia (where he took home also the prized maglia ciclamino) and Vuelta a España, a performance achieved by only three other riders this century, which highlights the stellar campaign he's had.
It wasn't only on the road that the 29-year-old tasted success, but also on his beloved track, where he won the European Team Pursuit Championships in spectacular fashion and the prestigious Six Days of Gent, the latter together with teammate Iljo Keisse, after a fantastic surge on the final day of the race.
"We can be really proud with what we have achieved as a team. It has been a truly tremendous season, which I ended on a high in Madrid, and I want to thank Quick-Step Floors for the way they supported and helped me since joining the team. I scored 18 wins, which is incredible and something that motivated me to work hard during the winter, so I can continue to be up there also next year. I know it will be tough to top a season like this, but the confidence is huge after the results I've had", concluded Elia, who contested more than thirty bunch sprints in 2018, finishing on the podium on 26 occasions.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images