'We inspire each other constantly': Deceuninck - Quick-Step flying after 15th season win at Tour of the Basque Country

The team's 1-2 further underlined their strength in depth and versatility.

(Image credit: David Ramos)

Deceuninck - Quick-Step’s riders “constantly inspire each other”, according to Mikkel Honoré who headed a one-two for the team on stage five of the Tour of the Basque Country.

The Dane crossed the line just a few centimetres ahead of his team-mate Josef Černy in Ondarroa after the duo attacked their remaining breakaway companion Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo) in the last five kilometres.

Riding to the finish as a pair, Černy allowed 24-year-old Honoré to take his second career victory, just two weeks after his first at the Coppi e Bartali.

“It’s the most incredible feeling in cycling to come first and second in a stage and pass the finish line together with your teammate,” Honoré said afterwards.

“We didn’t really decide [who would win] because if I am here on the podium or in the press conference, it’s the same because it should also have been with Josef and I wish he was here.

“But in the end he told me to pass the finish line first and the next time it will be his time. His time will come for sure.”

Victory for the team was their 15th of the season, three more than their closest challengers Jumbo-Visma and five better than Ineos Grenadiers’ tally.

Honoré is one of seven riders from the Belgian outfit to triumph this season, a remarkable show of strength.

He continued: “Today we showed how important it is to have a great team and to have a special team sprit here in the Wolfpack. It means everything and it explains a lot of our success in races.

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“[Repeated wins] gives us a confidence from each other. My last victory at the Coppi e Bartali, I watched the day before Kasper Asgreen winning E3 Saxo Bank and it was a similar situation [to his own win] where I was in the break all day, then got caught and then counter-attacked again.

“I think we inspire each other constantly from race to race and one of the other strengths of winning other races from team-mates is that you get more confidence for the next races.”