Quick-step team enjoys Le Tour success
Bathroom laminate flooring maker Quick-Step sponsors its own team, an outfit from Belgium, that took its name from the firm, with notable results this year.
As cycling website Velonation reported, the team had to overcome some significant obstacles to enjoy success in the 2010 race, not least Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel. He suffered a skull fracture in a previous race earlier this year and only returned to the saddle for the Tour de Suisse in June. To make matters worse, the team's star rider Tom Boonen had to pull out shortly before the tour with a knee injury.
Yet Chavanel provided Quick-Step with a glorious moment when he won the sprinter's stage in Brussels, giving him the chance to ride into France leading the whole race event.
He said: "To win on Belgian roads for a Belgian team and to have the honour tomorrow of riding into France wearing the yellow jersey is a dream come true for me. I still haven't realised what I've accomplished."
But there was more success to come for Chavanel, as he went on to win the Station de Rousses, showing he could win in the mountains as well as on the city streets.
It had been a tricky ride, he explained to Road CC, as team-mate Jerome Pineau - who had been leading the mountains category and the polka dot jersey that goes with it - headed a small breakaway and Chavanel had been reluctant to try to race him too hard until Pineau gave him the go-ahead.
"Right now I'm on my little cloud, I'm floating and I don't know how else to describe it," said the French victor, adding that he only started thinking of the yellow jersey "on the last climb".
Chavanel went on to say he expected the usual suspects like Contador, Schleck and Evans to come through in the mountains and take the yellow jersey from him, but he still revelled in his own success while putting it down to the overall strength of the Quick-Step team.
Such comments may have warmed the heart of many at Quick-Step, whose own approach to flooring may also consider team-work to be important - for example when fitting Quick-Step underlay beneath a laminate floor to provide a 'team' of a different sort, with the aim there not the winning of yellow jerseys but the establishment of good floors that last for many years.
Chavanel ended up with the prize for the Most Combative Rider when the tour ended in Paris and was again quick to praise the team, saying: "If there were a prize for the hardest fighting team it would surely belong to Team Quick Step."
Those who opt to install Quick-Step flooring in their home may soon discover that it is not just the riders in Le Tour who put everything they can into achieving excellence.
Click here for Quick-Step laminate flooring