Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) drives the pace as the Belgian team split the peloton in strong crosswinds
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Talented Frenchman concerned about his role at Omega Pharma-Quick Step
Sylvain Chavanel has revealed that he may not stay with the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team in 2014 after receiving several offers, including one from Ag2r-La Mondiale.
The multi-talented Frenchman has been with the Belgian team for five seasons, targeting the Classics and the Tour de France with success. He is the current French national time trial champion plus won two stages at the 2010 Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey for two days.
He played a key role in Omega Pharma-Quick Step's successful Tour de France, helping Mark Cavendish win in Saint-Amand-Montrond after echelons formed in the final part of the stage. He went on the attack on several stages, including on Bastille Day, but missed out on a personal stage win.
Chavanel's consistency, huge public support in France and his haul of UCI points make him a important signing for any team.
He would like to stay with Omega Pharma-Quick Step but is worried about his role and opportunities in the team. The Belgian squad has reportedly strengthened Cavendish's lead-out train by hiring Mark Renshaw and secured Rigoberto Uran as the team's Grand Tour contender.
"It's new for me not to have ended the Tour de France without knowing what I will do next season but I'm not worried," Chavanel told French newspaper La Nouvelle République.
"I've got several proposals, one of the French team AG2R La Mondiale. I've been with Omega Pharma-Quick Step for five years now. The management want me to stay and I'd like it but we've got see what specific role they want to give me. I'm going to make my decision within a fortnight."
Ever aggressive, even after the Tour de France
Chavanel was aggressive in the Clasica San Sebastian on Saturday, finishing tenth behind fellow Frenchman Tony Gallopin (RadioShack-Leopard) after chasing across to the leading riders. He intends to ride two criteriums in Belgium and Pau this week and then target the Eneco Tour, the Grand Prix de Plouay and the two Canadian WorldTour races in Quebec and Montreal.
Chavanel is rightly proud of his performance at the Tour de France despite not personally winning a stage.
"It was my 13th but I had a new role as a super domestique because we had a great sprinter, Mark Cavendish, in our team. We had a good Tour and won four stages," he explained.
"We went close to winning the team time trial and that hurt, as was missing out on stage two won by Jan Bakelants. I started the late attack but I suffered on the climb. But that's racing. I love to give it a go and so I'm not sorry if I lose. We animated the Tour, especially when we split the field with the echelon on stage 13 to Saint-Amand-Montbrond. That was special. Even if I didn’t win, it was exciting."
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