General manager Patrick Lefevere at the Omega Pharma-Quick Step Cycling Team press conference
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Belgian team enjoys early success ahead of Paris-Nice goals
Patrick Lefevere admitted that his team needed a "facelift" for 2012, but he is pleased with how Omega-Pharma Quick Step has adopted to the host of changes made during the winter.
The team brought in over a dozen wins this year, including Zdenek Sybar’s success in cyclo-cross, with Levi Leipheimer, Andrew Fenn, Tom Boonen and Francesco Chicchi also posting winning results.
“We have 15 wins this season if you count the wins from Zdenek Stybar,” Lefevere told Cyclingnews.
“They all count and I’m very happy. It shows that the team has worked very hard over the winter and I hope that we can keep going like this. We have some new riders and some new staff, but the team is going well. Maybe we needed this small facelift though.”
In the off-season, Lefevere was one of the most active managers in the transfer market. Having had a disappointing 2011 and with a shortage of WorldTour points, the team hired a raft of riders including Leipheimer and Tony Martin. While the American has hit the ground running, Martin has had a slower build-up. A slight knee injury over the winter disrupted his training but he is currently racing the Vuelta ao Algarve, in Portugal.
As the defending champion he will be looking to make a strong showing, but Lefevere admitted that the time trial world champion may have to wait until next month’s Paris-Nice before finding his best form.
“Maybe he’s a little bit behind last year but he’s hoping to be ready for Paris-Nice. That’s the first major race, it’s Paris Nice after all, but it’s also part of the WorldTour so we’ll be hoping to pick up some points there too.”
“Everyone wants to play a role there; Sylvain Chavanel, and Tom Boonen wants to win a stages, too. We’ll have to see how things go, talking about tactics is very easy but there will be a lot of riders fighting for the win.”
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