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Belgian Team to Ride Belgian Bikes

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By Bryn Lennon, Getty Images Sport

This is what constitutes news in late November, I guess. But the intertubes are all a-Twitter over the news that Quick Step will ride Merckx cycles for the next three years, parting ways with Specialized after a fruitful arrangement. Personally I find it hard to believe that teams change major bike sponsorships because they have suddenly decided one bike is crap and another is gold. Among the very biggest, wealthiest teams, I have always assumed the riders got great gear, and if they had a problem the company would rig something special. Boonen has had his share of special Specializeds over the years. So if the quality of the bike isn't the story, then the story is about either money or connections... neither of which interest me too much. Or maybe this is a Buy Belgian thing, local politics, which I know nothing about but would find perfectly normal. In any event, Merckx makes great bikes, and I can't wait to see what they gin up for Paris-Roubaix. Meanwhile, if you're curious about Specialized's service to the pro peloton, look no further than Saxo Bank. Apparently another team is about to cut a deal with the American company too.