Eddy Merckx Velodrome in Gent hosts launch
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team, for the second year in a row, had a track-based team presentation at the Eddy Merckx Velodrome in Gent. The event on Tuesday was sold out, with 1,700 attendees able to watch a full evening of fun and interactive events surrounding the presentation of Omega Pharma-QuickStep riders and staff for the 2014 season.
"This was a really great and unique show and I'm super happy to be here," British Champion and sprint extraordinaire Mark Cavendish said of the team presentation. "It was fun for everyone, even my daughter Delilah had a great time. I couldn't believe how many fans we had cheering for us and it was fantastic to get on the track with the guys in front of them all."
Riders were introduced while riding around the velodrome, and they also raced against each other in various special track events.
"I'm really happy to start my season off with this kind of event following my struggles of last year," OPQS team leader Tom Boonen said. "I'm as in shape as I have been previous years and am doing great. I had a smile on my face the entire time during this presentation for the public. I even won an event, which was a nice touch for me. This does not feel like an obligatory show for the sponsors and fans. I really enjoyed doing this in front of such an impressive crowd. Sometimes team presentations can be boring, but this has been far from it. For us, the fans, the media, the VIPS, and everyone else here it was super fun."
"The team is looking brilliant across all aspects of cycling," Cavendish said. "The grand tours, for example the Tour de France, we're going to go and win stages. Rigoberto Uran is here and he will be the guy at the Giro for the hilly stages and maybe even the hilly Classics. Then, of course, Tom's back and in incredible condition for the northern Classics this year. We've also got world champion Tony Martin in superb form. Then finally we're the two-time defending world team time trial champions. It's an incredible, formidable line-up this year and I'm so excited to be starting as part of this team in my second year."
After today's outstanding team presentation, OPQS looks next to the first races of the season, the Tour de San Luis and the Tour Down Under.
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