Wilfried Peeters expects Omega Pharma QuickStep to face sterner opposition in next season’s spring Classics campaign with Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan as two of their main challengers.
The Belgian team enjoyed an incredible spring. They won seven races by the end of January but were almost unstoppable in the Classics, winning Dwars door Vlaanderen – Waregem, E3, Gent – Wevelgem, de Panne, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
“I think we have a strong team, just like this year with the leader Tom Boonen and all the victories we had in 2012. However to be as successful in 2013 in going to be difficult but we’ll try and do it. We’ve got a very similar team for the Classics and have only changed a few riders,” Peeters told Cyclingnews.
The signing of Mark Cavendish adds another string to the team’s bow. The 2009 Milan San-Remo winner has struggled to match his only Classics win but Peeters believes that the British rider's new surroundings in the squad can benefit from two leaders in Cavendish and Boonen.
“With Cavendish we’ve more chances. It’s very possible to work with both Boonen and Cavendish in the team and line up. We might have to change tactics slightly. Maybe Tom goes in the early break at San Remo on the Poggio. With two riders like this we have more chances of wining the race. More options is a good thing for us.”
However with Fabian Cancellara set to return from injury and the growing prowess of Peter Sagan, Peeters is aware that QuickStep’s 2012 dominance could be hard to replicate.
“Cancellara had a lot of bad luck this year. Sagan, in every race this year, he was one of the best riders and I think he can go even higher. Cancellara, will be very motivated to get back to his level.”