Thanksgiving was a busy one for WorldTour sponsorship, as first EF Education First-Drapac announced it would be wearing Rapha after two years of POC, and then it was revealed that Quick Step team principle Patrick Lefevre had found another title sponsor for his squad after searching for most of the season. As of 2019 the team will be known as Deceuninck-Quick-Step.
Despite 69-wins this season, including victories in all three Grand Tours, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and La Flèche Wallonne, the team, nicknamed the Wolfpack, was heading for financial trouble as Belgian laminate flooring concern Quick Step announced it would assume the role of secondary sponsor next year. Tour of Flanders and E3 Harelbeke winner Niki Terpstra signed with Pro Continental outfit Direct Energie for 2019 and there were rumours that Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria and Vuelta a España runner-up Enric Mas were both going to ply their trade elsewhere.
Quick Step has been on board as a title sponsor since the team’s inception in 2003, an amalgamation of Domo-Farm Frites and the powerhouse Mapei-Quick Step squad. Other title sponsors have been Davitamon, Innergetic, Omega Pharma and its subsidiary Etixx.
The decidedly Belgian-sounding Deceuninck is a window manufacturing concern and has signed on for two years. So far the only new blood that will be on Deceuninck-Quick Step next year is massively hyped, double Junior world champion Remco Evenepoel.
Meanwhile, EF-Drapac’s duds-deal with Rapha includes the pink argyle racing in ultra-endurance, fixed gear criterium and mixed-terrain events. Rapha will create videos and other content throughout the race season, and broadcast the new races at its clubhouses.