Monday, 25 June 2012

Omega Pharma-QuickStep: World Champions

Omega Pharma-QuickStep had a phenomenal start to the season in the early spring classics with Tom Boonen winning pretty much everything thanks to solid team support in the form of Sylvain Chavanel and Niki Terpstra. The Omega team now extend their lead over Sky in the team rankings by 7 points thanks to an extraordinary display in the various National Championships over the last couple of weeks. Forget the nationals, If there was a World Championships that recognised the team as the victor, then Omega Pharma-QuickStep would be it...

Eight members of the team are now National Champions in one form or another. That's a whole team roster for some races! Tom Boonen carried his early season form into the Belgian National Championship road race this Sunday to be crowned Belgian Road Race Champion, taking the jersey from Phil Gilbert to cap a string of Omega Pharma wins. Boonen will be looking ahead now to the Olympic Road race and even the World Championships to complete what has already been the season of his life.

As Boonen raced his way to Belgian glory, Niki Terpstra beat the field into submission to take the Netherlands National Road Race Jersey, Matthew Brammeier did the same in Ireland and Michal Golas stormed to victory in Poland. Omega Pharma may be difficult to point out in the peloton for the rest of the year with so many different jerseys doing the rounds!

The teams continued dominance wasn't just confined to the Road Races though. In the Time Trial National Championships Tony Martin won the German title, Sylvain Chavanel powered to the win in France, Peter Velits was crowned Slovakian TT champ and Dario Cataldo beat the clock and his fellow competitors in Italy.

Omega Pharma-QuickStep have completely dominated the season when it has mattered not just thanks to Tom Boonen but thanks to a whole team that has worked tirelessly for results all year. The team dynamic has proven to be formidable in the Classics, Reuleurs and Puncheurs aplenty. It's Grand Tour season now though and with the Giro already gone the team will be looking to perform well in the Tour de France. Levi Leipheimer heads to France with General Classification ambitions and with a depleted field he could well make a podium place or more. Everyone will be watching the Time Trials closely, with Wiggins especially looking to gain some ground here. Omega Pharma though will take three TT National Champions to the Tour this year in the form of Martin, Chavanel and Velits so it's certainly not a foregone conclusion just yet. Omega Pharma-Quickstep could well just pull another surprise out of the bag here...

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