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Patrick Lefevere continues hunt for Quick-Step Floors sponsor replacement

Joe Robinson
14 Aug 2018

Flooring company to step down as primary sponsor for 2019 as Lefevere continues hunt for replacement

Despite being the WorldTour team with the most victories in 2018 so far, Quick-Step Floors are still in the hunt for a new primary sponsor as its current naming sponsor looks to play a smaller role from 2019.

Talking to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, team manager Patrick Lefevere confirmed that he is still looking for a new primary sponsor to take over from the Belgian flooring company as they look to continue on as a secondary sponsor, therefore reducing its financial input. 

'Quick-Step Floors will stay for at least another three years, but they would prefer to become a second sponsor,' Lefevere commented at the finish of Stage 1 of the Binckbank Tour.

'I do not have that main sponsor yet. I do not really care where the sponsor comes from. That may well be China or Mongolia. As long as they bring real money and not Monopoly money.'

Quick-Step Floors were primary sponsors of the team from its creation in 2003 until 2011 before it became second fiddle to Omega Pharma from 2012 to 2014. Etixx nutrition took up the mantle in 2015 before the flooring company reassumed the role in 2017.

Current sponsor Lidl is unwilling to increase its financial support of the team to primary sponsor, with Lefevere commenting that they had no intention in 'carrying the team', while newly confirmed co-sponsor Maes 0.0% will only come on board in a smaller role. 

With uncertainty looming around Quick-Step's long-term financial futures, Lefevere has also been unable to secure the signatures of some of the team's marquee riders. Currently, both Maximilian Schachmann and Tour of Flanders winner Niki Terpstra are yet to sign contracts for 2019.

The Niki [Terpstra] contract is still pending. If fresh money comes quickly, it will be fine. If there is no money, then we have a problem. Niki is willing to wait a little longer, but not too long.'

Quick-Step Floors budget is approximated at the £16 million per year mark, almost half of Team Sky's £31 million budget. Without a primary sponsor, that budget would likely shrink further, making it difficult to keep the likes of Terpstra.

Despite its small budget, Quick-Step Floors have been one of the most successful professional team of all time. Since its creation in 2003, Lefevere's team has dominated one-day racing with victories in all five Monuments. 

So far in 2018, the team has taken two Monuments through Terpstra at Tour of Flanders and Bob Jungels at Liege-Bastogne-Liege