Everyone knows Belgians love a good beer, so it seems fitting that native team Etixx - Quick-Step has launched its very own beer in conjunction with Belgian brewers, Brewery De Bie.
The beer, named De Bie Vélo, is described as a "traditional, light and flavourful beer" by the team, and will be distributed by Etixx through its fanclub, for VIPs at races as well as being available online via the WorldTour team's shop.
“Etixx – Quick-Step is a cycling team that stands out for success and innovation," said team CEO Patrick Lefevere. "But we never forget our Belgian roots and our traditions. We feel that quality and passion is what binds De Bie and Etixx – Quick-Step."
“There is a good sweet-bitter balance [to the beer]," said beer expert Robbie Defraeye on the eight percent brew.
"The beer tastes fruity and has a malty aftertaste. The spicy notes of star anise, coriander and sage are the finishing touch. Both men and women will love this beer. It is a very tasty and hearty alcohol in percentage terms, but still has good drinkability."
It's not an unusual occurrence for cycling to link itself with beer in the Low Countries. Not least with the Netherlands having a Classic race that's been sponsored by Amstel brewery since 1969, while Dutch team LottoNL-Jumbo used to have sponsorship from the (non-alcoholic) beer brand Buckler.
Though beer might not be the staple supplement to a top-quality cycling diet, De Bie has insisted that you can have a healthy beer, which sounds like it could be too good to be true.
“It is possible to have a healthy beer," said Nicolas Tjoen of De Bie. "We brew with natural quality products and not with chemical products."
Etixx makes its beer-based announcement as it prepares to embark on its all-important Spring Classics campaign, which has already taken a blow after Tom Boonen crashed to long-term injury at Paris-Nice earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish will be looking to get back on form at Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday and at Ghent-Wevelgem on Sunday, after a mechnical ruined his chances in the season's first monument, Milan-San Remo last weekend.
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