14 January 2013

Team Omega Pharma-Quickstep 2013

The 2013 Team Presentation is tomorrow Tuesday, January 15th

One of my favorite cycling teams has repackaged and reorganized itself for 2013, with a few new team members and new equipment. Tomorrow the team is having a kick-off the season team presentation with velodrome races in Gent, Belgium, at the Eddy Merckx cycling complex. Tickets are still available via the team's website. For the rest of us, we can watch the event livestream on the team website (8:00pm to midnight in Belgium, or a very convenient 12:00pm-4:00pm MST here in the USA). For more information see OPQS Championships.

According to the team website, "The event will be broadcast live on digital channel Sport 10 in Belgium, and also webcast via live streaming on our website. The broadcast will start at 19:55 and last until 23:15." Team website: Omega Pharma-Quickstep

The new 2013 Omega Pharma-Quickstep list of riders

The team has an amazing proved experienced team. Including Tom Boonen, Mark Cavendish, Sylvain Chavenel, Tony Martin, the Velits brothers Martin and Peter, Gert Steegmans, Niki Terpstra, Bert Grabsch, Jerome Pineau, Kristof Vandewalle and so many other excellent riders.
Omega Pharma Quickstep riders 2013 - read rider bios
BOONEN Tom BEL 15.10.1980
BRAMBILLA Gianluca ITA 22.08.1987
CAVENDISH Mark GBR 21.05.1985
CHAVANEL Sylvain FRA 30.06.1979
DE WEERT Kevin BEL 27.05.1982
DEVENYNS Dries BEL 22.07.1983
GOLAS Michal POL 29.04.1984
GRABSCH Bert GER 19.06.1975
KEISSE Iljo BEL 21.12.1982
KWIATKOWSKI Michal POL 02.06.1990
MAES Nikolas BEL 09.04.1986
MARTIN Tony GER 23.04.1985
PAUWELS Serge BEL 21.11.1983
PINEAU Jérôme FRA 02.01.1980
RABON Frantisek CZE 26.09.1983
SERRY Pieter BEL 21.11.1988
STEEGMANS Gert BEL 30.09.1980
STYBAR Zdenek CZE 11.12.1985
TERPSTRA Niki NED 18.05.1984
VAN KEIRSBULCK Guillaume BEL 14.02.1991
VANDENBERGH Stijn BEL 25.04.1984
VANDEWALLE Kristof BEL 05.04.1985
VELITS Martin SVK 21.02.1985
VELITS Peter SVK 21.02.1985
VERMOTE Julien BEL 26.07.1989
FENN Andrew GBR 01.07.1990
TRENTIN Matteo ITA 02.08.1989

2013 Omega Pharma-Quickstep team jersey

Tomorrow we will see images of the team line up in their new 2013 Omega Pharma Quickstep kits. Who else wants a helmet like Tom Boonen's helmet?

We'll see Tom Boonen in his new Belgium National Champion jersey.
Tom Boonen in his new Belgium National jersey, otherwise known as the coolest jersey ever!   
Photo from OPQS team website
I can't wait to see if Tom has another incredible year. In 2012, Tom Boonen followed his win of the Tour of Qatar by winning the Flemish cobblestone quadruple of E3 Harelbeke, Gent–Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders, and Paris-Roubaix. The first cyclist ever to achieve all four monumental wins in the same season. Later in the season he also won World Ports Classic and Paris–Brussels. He was also part of the 6-man World Cahmpion Team Time Trail team. I am a huge Tommeke fan, aren't we all.

Also on the roster is Polish National Champion Michal Golas.
Michal Golas is the Polish National Champion.  Photo © by TDWSport.com from team website
Also Niki Terpstra, the current Dutch National Champion Road.
Niki Terpstra in his Dutch National Champion jersey.  Photo from OPQS team website
World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin remained on the team for 2013. [Read more about the World Champion Jerseys]
Tony Martin  
Photo from OPQS team website
New to the team for 2013 is former World Champion sprinting marvel Mark Cavendish.
Mark Cavendish and his new standard Omega Pharma Quickstep jersey with World Champion armbands and his twitter name printed on the sides.  Photo © by TDWSport.com from team website
Other National Road and Time Trial Champions on the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team include:
Czech Cyclocross MaillotRepúblicaCheca.PNG Zdeněk Štybar
Belgian Road Race MaillotBélgica.PNG Tom Boonen
Netherlands Road Race MaillotHolanda.PNG Niki Terpstra
Polish Road Race MaillotPolonia.PNG Michał Gołaś

French Time Trial MaillotFra.PNG Sylvain Chavanel
German Time Trial MaillotAlemania.PNG Tony Martin
Slovakian Time Trial MaillotSlovakia.gif Peter Velits
World Time Trial Championships Jersey rainbow.svg Tony Martin

2012 Race Results

The Omega Pharma-Quickstep team comes close to a national team in Belgium. Formed in 2003, last year the team took home win after win, see the team's results list at OPQS wins 2012. They will be announcing their race schedule tomorrow during the presentation. You may check back on the team as they post their races and results for 2013 on their website.
Omega Pharma-Quickstep was also the team that won the 2012 World Team Time Trial Championship. The winning team was made up of 6 riders: Tony Martin, Sylvain Chavanel, Kristof Vandewalle, Peter Velits, Tom Boonen, and Niki Terpstra. But because the honor was awarded to the team, the 6 riders received only a medal (no jersey), and instead the entire team will wear a small UCI rainbow logo on their team jersey for all races (road and TT) in 2012-2013.
Do you see the small UCI emblem on the left upper chest of Peter Velits' 2013 jersey?
Team Omega Pharma Quickstep rides one of the most winning frames in the Peloton

The team's new Specialized bikes for 2013 will be on display tomorrow at the team presentation, including Mark Cavendish's new S-Works + McLaren Venge. And yes, I do believe part of Cavendish's motivation for transferring from Team SKY to Omega Pharma-Qiuckstep was to get back on a Specialized Venge. A sprinter belongs on that bike. (The two other ProTeams that ride Specialized bikes are Astana and Saxo Bank-Tinkoff)
Mark Cavendish's Specialized S-Works Venge  
Photo from BikeRadar.com, please see their full gallery
Omega Pharma Team Equipment for 2013 
Using the same frame models but with Zipp wheels and SRAM componentry, the team will choose between a choice of Specialized bike frames: McLaren Venge, S-Works Venge, S-Works Tarmac SL4, S-Works Roubaix SL4, and Shiv TT. The set up of Mark Canvendish's bike will be:

Bike Frame: Specialized - S-Works + McLaren Venge (S-Works Venge)
Groupo: SRAM Red (non-electronic) with Quarq cranks
Wheels: Zipp
Pedals: Leo KeO
Saddle: Specialized (with personal exceptions)
Tires: Specialized
Bottle Cages: Tacx Tao

Q = How to quickly tell if a rider is on a S-Works Venge or a S-Works Tarmac SL4 bike frame, both road bikes?
A = On the Venge, the seat tube is curved slightly at the point of the rear wheel, similar to the Shiv TT bike, for improved aerodynamics. You can also see by the photos below that the geometry is different, for increased stiffness.
Specialized Bike Models
Specialized Shiv TT time trial bike for team Omega Pharma Quickstep
Specialized S-Works SL4 Omega Pharma Quickstep
Specialized S-Works Venge Omega Pharma Quickstep
Tom Boonen's Specialized SL4 Roubaix, used at the 2012 Paris-Roubaix.   
Photo © by James Huang at Bike Radar
Specialized Langster PRO Track Bike 2013
Cuadro s-works venge edición boonen,  Photo from Specialized.com website
Tom Boonen's 2013 Venge bike  Photo from Specialized.com website
Team Sponsorship and Management

The team is based in Belgium, Patrick Lefevere is the team CEO, Rolf Aldag has returned to road racing again and is the team's Sports and Development Manager, other staff members may be seen at this link. Major Sponsors are Omega Pharma a Belgian Pharmaceutical company, and QuickStep a manufacturer of laminate flooring. The team will drive Peugeot team cars. Other Sponsors include Janom, Innergetic, and Renson. 

Sprinting Giants

It will be exciting to see how the sprinting giants Tom Boonen and Mark Cavendish compete together in 2013. Perhaps they will raise the other to new heights and faster speeds. I think the combination of a spring classics specialist (Boonen) and a grand tour sprinter (Cavendish) should work out smoothly enough.


You can buy the new team apparel on their website shop. Or download the OPQS team app from the Appstore. Play with the fun photobooth under fanbase (I took an awesome photo of my dog with Tommeke), or upload your own fan photos to their fan site

Omega Pharma-Quickstep cycling team news page 
Omega Pharma-Quickstep cycling team Facebook page  
Omega Pharma-Quickstep
cycling team on Twitter

This is one team I will be watching in 2013 and tomorrow during parts of their team presentation/competition.

p.s., no, Levi Leipheimer has yet to find a new team for 2013. Still serving his sentence for doping, he was let go by OPQS and remains team-less.

Related post by Pedal Dancer: The McLaren Venge (a short history of the partnership in creating the S-Works + McLaren Venge)

Update: Gallery: Omega Pharma-Quick Step takes to the track in Gent. By CyclingNews.com