While Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack) puts his feet up at home and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) toys with the entire peloton like a cat with a ball of string at De Panne, Omega Pharma-QuickStep are hurriedly putting their final touches to their Tour of Flanders preparation.
As the defending champions Omega Pharma-QuickStep have a measurable amount of pressure on their shoulders but it wasn’t on show when they invited Cyclingnews into their service course base on the outskirts of Wevelgem.
With the team’s bikes from Paris-Nice racked to one side, all attention is on the Classics. On Monday, just as Cyclingnews visit, the team mechanics are busy stripping down and cleaning the bikes from Gent-Wevelgem. On the other side of the team’s arsenal, staff are preparing wheel after wheel for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Nothing is left to chance, and everything is double and triple checked by the team’s experienced support staff.
Although just a warehouse, the team’s support staff have made something of a home of this place. Posters and newspaper scrapings line the walls and there’s the odd trophy dotted around the shelves for good measure too.
Having been the team’s base since the days of Domo in 2001 there’s the presence of history as well. Johan Museeuw’s wining bike from Paris-Roubaix sits neatly outside Patrick Lefevere’s office, the mud and dirt from the win still gripping the frame.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep will be hoping to add another bike alongside Museeuw’s come Sunday.
Check out the gallery, right here.