29 January 2013

Handmade Bicycles

Bikes as Functional Art

If there is one common thread that runs through cycling, it is the love of a bike. A bike is art. Whether we have taken a common manufactured bike and personalized it to our own style, or built up a bike ourselves selecting each component - we love our bikes. I enjoy the details of my own bike (a Cannondale Evo Supersix), I can only imagine the ultimate joy of building a bike from conception to realization. 

To forge steel, titanium, or carbon into a rideable work of art. What joy that must bring. Just as I love going to a car show to gaze at the beauty of a curved headlight or details of the interior or to hear the engine roar, in the world of bikes there exists a show were my appreciation for all things handmade can be appreciated - it is the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS), and this year the show is coming to Denver, Colorado!
Mark your calendars for the weekend of February 22-24, 2013, North American Handmade Bicycle Show in downtown Denver at the Colorado Convention Center, Hall D. 

Show hours: Friday, February 22, 11-6pm, $18; Saturday, February 23, 10-6pm, $18; Sunday, February 24, 10-5pm, $15. These fees apply if you register online before the 20th, if not you will pay $4 extra at the event (7000 expected to attend). 

*Added feature: a post written for this event: Best Beer Pubs and Breweries in Denver, By Pedal Dancer.  

Update 02/20/13: more information at: Fun and Facts at the Handmade Bike Show

The handmade bike show is touted as "A traveling convention of custom bicycles," which also offers seminars (Fri, Sat, Sun) on varied topics. A seminar pass is $150 and grants you access to seminars during all 3 show days. Speakers include Craig Calfee of Calfee Design, Butch Boucher of Moots, Keith Noronha of Reynolds Technology, Tom Ritchey of Ritchey Bicycle Components, and several other knowledgeable frame builders.
Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado
Downtown Denver map with the Convention Center marked in red, click to enlarge
You never know what you will see at a handmade bike show. I hope to be surprised and to be exposed to new names and new designs. See the list of 185 exhibitors at the NAHBS (80% of exhibitors are from out-of-state). According to the event website we can expect to see, "In addition to many US frame builders, exhibitors from countries including Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and The Netherlands."
This will be the 8th annual NAHBS bicycle show. The show has grown 8-10% a year since 2005 when it debuted with just 23 exhibitors. The NAHBS show moves location every year, so see it while it is convenient. If you plan to travel to Denver the convention offers travel information. So far our winter in Denver has been very mild, so please come (although we did get fresh snow last night).

History of locations of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show:
2014 - ? not yet announced
2013 - Denver, Colorado
2012 - Sacramento, California
2011 - Austin, Texas
2010 - Richmond, Virginia
2009 - Indianapolis, Indiana
2008 - Portland, Oregon
2007 - San Jose, California
2006 - San Jose, California
2005 - Houston, Texas

Let's look at bike frames from some of the exhibitors: Photos from the NAHBS website list of exhibitors. please click any image to enlarge

Yipsan Randonneur
Engin 29er steel hardtail
Hampsten Strada Bianca
Independent Fabrication Single Speed Steel Townie
Moots, PshycloX RSL cyclocross bike, a prize winning local favorite out of Steamboat Springs, CO
Paketa magnesium V2r tandem
Littleford bicycle
Victoria Cycles Belt Drive Commuter
Vendetta Cycles English Racer
Vendetta - beauty in the details
Related Reading: Report from Bike Mag from the 2012 North American Handmade Bicycle Show and Cyclocross Magazine's The Best of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show 2012. Or a wonderful gallery of photos from the 2012 show by Colin Meagher at PinkBike.com: 2012 North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

Related Pedal Dancer post: A Handmade Pegoretti Bike

For more information please visit the NAHBS website: http://2013.handmadebicycleshow.com/

27 January 2013

Picture of the Day: Warm Winter Riding

Riding in January in Colorado

So far the winter has been unseasonably warm in Denver, Colorado, and I've been out riding my bike two times a week in glorious 45-65 F (7-18 C) degree weather.
My bike and I rode out to watch the ice fisherman on Bear Creek lake near the foothills of Denver
Warm also means dry, with the typical snow-covered landscape appearing solidly brown.
The brown hills of a snow-less winter in Colorado
Devoid of color, it still makes for good biking and I am not the only one out there. Every time I ride, I meet new people who are out doing the same thing - enjoying the beautiful weather during a Colorado Winter. Oh how I love a good bike ride in cool weather.

Related Pedal Dancer posts: Cycling Apparel

25 January 2013

I don't need a hero

Don't tell me who to admire

If social media and exposure has done anything in the past twenty years - it has removed our naivety to human failings. Nobody is perfect. Admiration emerges from the simplest places and nobody should be telling us who to consider a hero. Those most deserved of admiration are seldom those in the spotlight.

Months ago I had a lessons of life conversation with my 17-year old nephew Kevin. We talked about how being a good person should never be granted simply by public image. That there are plenty of people contributing daily who never receive fame or attention. That those without good grades and sports achievement should never be seen as lesser or bad people. Being a good person is separate from achievement. Kevin is blessed with smarts and amazing athletic ability (and a scholarship to Stanford next year), but an incident that happened to his classmates at school last year prompted our conversation about the need to cultivate integrity and honesty separate from attention given by others.

Poor Lance Armstrong never learned that lesson (and his Mother knew it long ago). I was disgusted this week when I read an article published at Bicycling.com stating that our new hero should be Greg Lemond (dribble). What? Out with the old, in with the old? I don't want Greg Lemond as my hero. I don't need a new hero. Offering admiration and respect is not something I want dictated, and am now more than wary of giving freely to public figures.

I am fascinated by the study of human behavior. The sport of cycling has given much to feed that interest of late, juxtaposed against the fact that bike racing continues, as if nothing ever happened, at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia and at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina. Yep the teams are back to racing and the 2013 racing season has begun anew. 

Back on US soil, next in line for an interview is Travis Tygart, who will share his side of the USADA story this Sunday on 60 minutes. Sure I am tired of Lance Armstrong (really tired) but I am not so tired that I would miss out on hearing Tygart's response to Lance's confession.

Travis Tygart on 60 Minutes on CBS news, Sunday, January 27, 2013. 

Achievement does not equate to integrity. Sorry, Lance confessed and Betsy is still rightly miffed at him and others (I almost expected Oprah to contact Betsy to discuss the art of forgiveness). At least we had the humor of George Carlin and Bike Snob: The Power of O to laugh over this past week. 

Let's move on, but please - no one ask Mark Cavendish about Lance - he fears Armstrong has tainted his sport forever and he is mad. I fear Armstrong has tainted the idea of heroes forever. I'm not mad, but I have a strong dislike of the color yellow. That is why the Tour Down Under is so cool - NO yellow jersey!

The Leader is in Orange!  Thomas Gerraint (SKY) in the Santos Tour Down Under Leaders Jersey.  
Photo from Team Sky Website News
I also liked Bradley Wiggins nun too emotional remarks made today:

Watch some bike racing - visit Steephill.TV Tour Down Under 2013 Live Dashboard for all the links, rosters, photos, and results from racing in Australia (finishes this weekend).

Current standings Tour Down Under (Australia):
General Classification after Stage 4
GBR  1  THOMAS, Geraint (SKY PROCYCLING)                          12:59:09
ESP  3  MORENO BAZAN, Javier (MOVISTAR TEAM)                   +  6
BEL  4  HERMANS, Ben (RADIOSHACK LEOPARD)                       +  8

Current standings Tour de San Luis (Argentina):
General Classification after Stage 4
Pto  Dor  Nombre                                 Nac  Equipo                                        hh:mm:ss
 ~~~  ~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~      ~~~~~~~~
   1º   3    KWIATKOWSKI, Michal     POL  OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK S 12:30:37
   2º  86   VAN GARDEREN, Tejay     USA  BMC RACING TEAM                  23
   3º  74   V.DEN BROECK, Jurgen     BEL  LOTTO BELISOL                          42
   4º 206  DINIZ, Alex                          BRA  FUNVIC BRASILINVEST           45
   5º  71   DE CLERCQ, Bart                BEL  LOTTO BELISOL                         54
   6º  21   CONTADOR, Alberto          ESP  TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF                01:10
   7º  11   DIAZ, Ricardo                      ARG  SAN LUIS SOMOS TODOS         01:12
   8º  95   ULISSI, Diego                      ITA  LAMPRE MERIDA                         01:12
   9º   2    CHAVANEL, Sylvain           FRA  OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK S      01:24
  10º  63  HERRADA, Jesus                 ESP  MOVISTAR TEAM                        01:24

Need a pick me up after the week? The well-grounded Ted King believes "...that the newest generation of riders is different." Read The Best-Kept Secret, then please follow his own personal blog (I am Ted King) where his unique writing style and humor shines through. 

I like Ted, Ted is my new hero. 
Well that didn't take long. 
The last time I saw my hero
Ted King at Cross Vegas, Las Vegas, September 2012. Photo by Pedal Dancer

17 January 2013

Cycling is in the News Big Time

A time to broaden our small world of cycling
The interesting point of having the topic of Lance Armstrong and the sport of cycling move outside of the usual cycling circle of journalists and bloggers, is that we get to read the well written words of others looking from the outside in. I hope you have been keeping up with articles in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Telegraph, and other local and national newspapers. Their insight is helping to expand and expose the world of cycling beyond our regular cycling news sources, those sources which have often been intimidated into silence over the years. The infusion of fresh thought is greatly needed.

Being a cycling journalist, over the past fifteen years, could not have been easy. It is tough to try to hold onto a job while facing moral decisions. Access is everything in journalism, more important than exposing the truth I fear. I remember months (or was it years) ago I wrote a honest piece about what I believed was the writing on the wall of the impending fall of Armstrong (I believed he would be found legally guilty of perjury and might do jail time). My own father was so upset with me.

How could I speak out against a man who had done such good? I had family members struggling against cancer. How could I dare to speak up against him when Lance had "never failed a test"? I realized that some people would simply get very upset over the topic. For families who had been touched with cancer (more like hammered, and mine has) Armstrong was a spiritual leader, a sign of hope and strength. I learned to treat it like a political party preference, it was best not to discuss the topic of Armstrong's doping. 

Armstrong used his cancer leverage to shield his doping lies

According to the CDC, "Each year globally, 12.7 million people learn they have cancer, and 7.6 million people die from the disease. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease; it kills more than half a million Americans every year." CDC's Interactive Cancer Atlas (InCA). According to the National Cancer Institute, among the US population, "It is estimated that 1,638,910 men and women (848,170 men and 790,740 women) will be diagnosed with and 577,190 men and women will die of cancer of all sites in 2012."

These are shocking figures, but my point is this - Lance Armstrong is not the only person to have been inflicted with and survived cancer. The disease affects millions every day. Each one of them a hero for triumphing through their fear and suffering. Cancer is a terrible enemy and deserves to have an honest face to represent the battle. I appreciate what Lance Armstrong tried to do, and none-other had the platform he was given, he could have done more than good, he could have done great. But Lance Armstrong's time is over. A disease as horrible as cancer does not need dishonesty.

This is a unique time when excellent writers are writing about cycling. The sport is in the headlines.

I realize in devouring so many of the articles lately, that man, the best in the biz sure can write! At this point we need fresh ideas, new words, new actions, because I believe the inside of this sport is about as dirty as it gets. Spring cleaning is needed. 
I like these words:
"We likely will not have a definitive answer to most of these questions at the conclusion of the interview. We might have clues, but the truth will lie in gray areas that will become clearer as Armstrong carries this burden for the rest of his life. Apologies are promises to change. Like promises, we cannot judge them fully in the moments they are spoken. Wrongdoers need time to search for the deepest values that orient their lives and to begin rebuilding their futures with habits that honor those principles. Although it may not make for good television, this sort of persistent growth creates good people. Moral development does not occur within a news cycle." By Nick Smith in the Wall Street Journal

I like this reaction:
"I love a good myth. (So did those guys in that bar. They ended up acknowledging the magnitude of Armstrong’s lies, but had a tough time walking away from them, though, like me, they eventually did.) And I should say, as I have here, here, and here, that I bought it all for many years, and no doubt hell also hath no fury like that of a gullible, humiliated fanboy." By Michael Specter in the New York Times 

I am happy to see possible changes. Meanwhile I will be out pedaling my bike, and watching races in Australia and Louisville, Kentucky. Because riding a bicycle is still an excellent thing to do.  

Again, if you are interested in watching the Oprah Winfrey interview of Lance Armstrong tonight, links can be found on my post from yesterday: The Interview 

16 January 2013

The Interview

He is attempting to reset his image

Lance Armstrong, featuring Oprah Winfrey in a planned orchestrated pre-taped interview

Will you watch the Lance Armstrong confession interview with Oprah? It is after all scheduled during prime time entertainment hour on TV. Which I am grateful for because most of Europe, and the world, will be asleep and will not have to endure seeing how gullible Americans can be. Still I am curious. I only wish the interview had been in front of a live audience and the TV screen could show a graph similar to our presidential debates with viewer reactions of sad and pitiful / somewhat believable / total BS / LIAR.

Where to watch the Oprah interview with Lance Armstrong: The interview is now spread over 2 NIGHTS, Thursday 17 January and Friday 18 January. Tune in on your OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network, find OWN on your TV) Channel or watch the interview on Oprah.com Live stream at 7pm MST (9pm-10:30 ET/PT). 

In addition, Discovery Communications (owner of OWN) will make the Internet stream available to Comcast, DirecTV, Verizon, and DishNetwork, which will offer access to it on their websites. I signed in to find 'watch live TV online' in the right column. Also rebroadcast on the radio at Oprah's XM (111) and Sirius (204) radio stations. The interview is not truly live, the broadcast is live, the interview was taped last Monday.

In the UK the interview may be seen on Discovery Channel UK on Friday 2AM & 8PM (Sky520 Virgin212)

What we have learned 

Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs
We already knew this, but now we get to hear his side of the story. Keep in mind that truth usually comes in degrees after a long lie, so we will learn more in the future beyond this 2-part interview. Video: A discussion about Lance Armstrong's doping confession

Lance Armstrong was not the best endurance athlete ever
If we've learned anything it is that an unremarkable athlete is made more remarkable by drugs (a talented athlete made outstanding), and that there is no fairness in cheating or doping. The only leveler is truth. Time to kill off the myth that Armstrong was an exceptional athlete.

Livestrong.org is not cancer research
Don't refer to Livestrong as cancer research when Livestrong.org is patient advocacy and support. "The LIVESTRONG Foundation unites, inspires and empowers people affected by cancer." See Where the Money goes at Livestrong.org. Livestrong.com is a for profit website. The Livestrong Cancer Research Center was not started until April 2012, odd timing. Outside Magazine wrote an enlightening piece on the Livestrong Foundation It's not about the Lab Rats.

Armstrong is carefully targeting his audience for forgiveness
Remember when the Inner Ring blog informed us, "Do you know who the biggest watchers of bike races are in France, Spain, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland? The over-60s. And the second largest component of the audience? Women aged 35-55." Do you know that the Oprah Winfrey Network's favored audience is women age 25-54. Lance Armstrong chose Oprah not only because they both have places to stay (Oprah has a home) in Hawaii and she is kind, but because her audience might likely also be kind and forgiving. If he was serious about making right from wrong he would have privately walked into Travis Tygart's office to confess.

He will race again
Ok this just scares me, so I'd rather ignore this truth. 

Lance Armstrong will continue to manipulate

You never know how narcissists with power will react or behave because they just don't think like the rest of us. That is why I really don't know what will be in this interview. I do know he has master-minded this event just like every other. People are always ready to forgive, but Lance Armstrong's legacy might indeed be to teach us what we will not tolerate in sports. Forgiveness or not, he has changed the sport of cycling for the worse. (status with IOC)

Don't be fooled, he intends to change your mind about him

Redirecting image is a far cry from a moral confession. Lance Armstrong is not a changed man, nor is he a living example of trying to do right. There is another motivation for his recent tactics and that is what I am waiting to see discovered. Sure Armstrong laid low for awhile, but you can bet every recent news leak, every meeting or sudden appearance was planned and calculated to either test the waters or lead us, the poor unknowing ready to forgive folks, down the path Armstrong wants us to walk.


"You don't hold the keys to my redemption," he (Armstrong) said, according to the person familiar with the meeting. "There's one person who holds the keys to my redemption," he went on, pointing at himself, "and that's me."" These words were spoken as recently as last month to Travis Tygart at a meeting between Armstrong and Tygart in Denver, Colorado, as reported in an article by The Wall Street Journal (Behind Lance Armstrong's Decision to Talk). Armstrong had requested the meeting to gauge if Tygart would be willing to reduce his life-long band of competing in Olympic sanctioned sports. The meeting didn't go so well.

I believe we have been fed leaks through the media with the intent to lesson the blow, to test public opinion, to soften the real news when released. As my brother said, "it's as if they formed focus groups and tested the effectiveness of statements or scenarios." What do the people want to hear, what will it take so that we will again admire Lance Armstrong and return his power?

Lance Armstrong needs our admiration and he needs the freedom to continue his pursuit of anything he wants. I believe he is solely interested in himself. Surely there are plenty of triathlons he could race, evidenced by the number of Triathlon events last year willing to dump the USAT backing to allow Armstrong to compete (and increase entrance numbers and thereby money). Armstrong could have taken his millions and built another parallel Ironman series and competed in his own races. Are a few triathlon competitions worth the millions he will surely pay in legal suits and fees?

Watch for manipulation

A decent person with integrity does not go around saying what a good person they are, they don't need to, their behavior speaks for itself. Armstrong has had some terrible behavior in the past 15 years. A decent person also does not bring others down with him, they stand on their own failed heap and take responsibility. Don't believe Armstrong if he attempts to tell us that everyone doped, that all pro sports are corrupt, that he followed his teammates, managers, and doctors. Don't believe him when he talks of the good he did, how his competitors would say he deserved to win the Tour de France. He cheated, he harmed, he repeatedly lied. (Video compilation of Lance lying).

Good tough men can win without being a loser

Please remind yourself prior to and during the interview that Armstrong has sued, mocked, intimidated, harassed, coerced, bribed, bullied, and lied to not only a select few, but to all of us. Everyone. Over and over again. Sure he carried some people along, those who took advantage of their connection to Armstrong to promote their coaching, nutrition drink, books, photographs, apparel, bikes, or health causes. He also inspired individuals facing their own battle with cancer. But in his wake he left many real individuals with shattered lives.

I like a tough sportsman, give me the Badger on a bike (Bernard Hinault) any day and I will show him great respect, but I will not give respect, forgiveness or absolution to a man who does not truly understand what he did wrong. Even if the words are there, there is something missing in Lance Armstrong that makes him powerful, but not a man I would want as a friend and certainly not as an enemy, and never again as a hero.

Can't he just go run bike and swim in private?

Do we need to offer Armstrong our forgiveness? Do we need to let him orchestrate and determine our opinion of him? I think we are smart enough, even if somewhat uninformed or not privy to all the details, to make up our own minds. I am tired of Lance Armstrong, tired because others are more deserved of our attention. But I would like to say this - Lance you are wrong about your redemption being in your hands - it is in ours. Each one of ours. People forgive but we do not forget.

Is cycling done?

Last night's interview on Charlie Rose with David Epstein (Sports Illustrated), Daniel Coyle (Author), and Juliet Macur (NYT) was exceptional in it's content and clarity. Please watch this interview video: A discussion about Lance Armstrong's doping confession

During the interview, in one brief inhale, Charlie Rose made the statement, "okay, so cycling is done," then carried on to the next question. What, cycling is done? How sad. How tragic. To me the word cycling has always described far more than professional cycling. When I think of cycling I think of kids and their first bike, I think of friends meeting for a weekend ride together, I think of the fun of bike maintenance, or the good of exercise.

Still I believe Frankie Andreu is correct in saying that Lance Armstrong holds the key to cleaning up the sport of cycling because he was the leader, he knows how it was done. I refuse to think the fate of cycling rests solely on Lance Armstrong. Just as we hold the decision of Armstrong's redemption, I would like to think we collectively hold the future of cycling. 

I'm not sure which quote applies more for the day

"The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long." or "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me"

There was no Oprah couch at the 2.5 hour interview, which was moved to a Hotel in Austin, Texas, with nice decorative glass bottles. I can't wait to hear what was said in that room.
Lance Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey helping each other make history. 
AP Photo/Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc., George Burns

A lot of background history to read prior to the interview tonight: Analysis: What USADA’s case file means to those involved. By Neal Rogers for VeloNews

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