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|
|DE WEERT Kevin||BEL||27.05.1982|
|VAN KEIRSBULCK Guillaume||BEL||14.02.1991|
|VERONA QUINTANILLA Carlos||ESP||04.11.1992|
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?
|Tom Boonen in his new Belgium National jersey, otherwise known as the coolest jersey ever! |
Photo from OPQS team website
Also on the roster is Polish National Champion Michal Golas.
|Michal Golas is the Polish National Champion. Photo © by TDWSport.com from team website|
|Niki Terpstra in his Dutch National Champion jersey. Photo from OPQS team website|
|Tony Martin |
Photo from OPQS team website
|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|
- Czech Cyclocross Zdeněk Štybar
- Belgian Road Race Tom Boonen
- Netherlands Road Race Niki Terpstra
- Polish Road Race Michał Gołaś
- French Time Trial Sylvain Chavanel
- German Time Trial Tony Martin
- Slovakian Time Trial Peter Velits
- World Time Trial Championships 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?|
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
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
Pedals: Leo KeO
Saddle: Specialized (with personal exceptions)
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 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|
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.
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