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Gallery: Etixx-QuickStep present team in velodrome showcase

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Tony Martin attacks

Tony Martin attacks
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ready to go

Ready to go
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michal Kwiatkowski interviewed on stage

Michal Kwiatkowski interviewed on stage
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen and Michal Kwiatkowski

Tom Boonen and Michal Kwiatkowski
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Who can track stand the longest?

Who can track stand the longest?
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A wheel change needed for Niki Terpstra

A wheel change needed for Niki Terpstra
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Exchanging tactics?

Exchanging tactics?
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Old rivals compete again, Tom Boonen and Mark Cavendish go head-to-head

Old rivals compete again, Tom Boonen and Mark Cavendish go head-to-head
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The calm before the storm

The calm before the storm
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Off they go

Off they go
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It nearly goes pear-shaped for Niki Terpstra

It nearly goes pear-shaped for Niki Terpstra
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Trainer Koen Pelgrim

Trainer Koen Pelgrim
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sporting manager Rolf Aldag

Sporting manager Rolf Aldag
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen treading the boards

Tom Boonen treading the boards
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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There were even dernys present

There were even dernys present
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen takes some pictures with fans

Tom Boonen takes some pictures with fans
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There were plenty of fans looking for Tom Boonen's autograph

There were plenty of fans looking for Tom Boonen's autograph
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra have had a good winter on the track

Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra have had a good winter on the track
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michal Kwiatkowski is a stranger to the boards compared to his teammates

Michal Kwiatkowski is a stranger to the boards compared to his teammates
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mark Cavendish looks comfortable on his Specialized track bike

Mark Cavendish looks comfortable on his Specialized track bike
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Guillaume Van Keirsbulck keeping in the sprinters' line

Guillaume Van Keirsbulck keeping in the sprinters' line
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen takes the sprint for the line

Tom Boonen takes the sprint for the line
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Eyes ahead for Niki Terpstra

Eyes ahead for Niki Terpstra
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Niki Terpstra heads the bunch

Niki Terpstra heads the bunch
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen was certainly a crowd favourite

Tom Boonen was certainly a crowd favourite
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mark Cavendish interviewed in front of the fans

Mark Cavendish interviewed in front of the fans
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ready, set, go

Ready, set, go
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Directuer sportif Jan Schaffrath

Directuer sportif Jan Schaffrath
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Steels

Tom Steels
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The riders mingle in the track centre

The riders mingle in the track centre
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The directeur sportifs go out on track

The directeur sportifs go out on track
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse and Tony Martin

Iljo Keisse and Tony Martin
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mark Cavendish goes for the sprint

Mark Cavendish goes for the sprint
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Michal Kwiatkowski salutes the fans

Michal Kwiatkowski salutes the fans
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen

Tom Boonen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Zdenek Stybar

Zdenek Stybar
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Michal Kwiatkowski's Specialized S-Works Tarmac

Michal Kwiatkowski's Specialized S-Works Tarmac
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A beer for Mr Boonen

A beer for Mr Boonen
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Davide Bramati

Davide Bramati
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Brian Holm

Brian Holm
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The directeur sportifs talk before they go out on track

The directeur sportifs talk before they go out on track
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen goes for the line

Tom Boonen goes for the line
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Michal Kwiatkowski waves to the crowd

Michal Kwiatkowski waves to the crowd
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Team Boss Patrick Lefevere

Team Boss Patrick Lefevere
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Etixx–QuickStep held its official team presentation at the Gent velodrome on Wednesday night, with Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonen, Tony Martin, and world champion Michal Kwiatkowski, along with many other riders, racing against each other in front of hundreds of fans.

Cavendish used his sprinting speed and track skills to emerge as the overall winner of the evening's racing. The Manxman and Kwiatowski are about to travel to Argentina for their season debut at the Tour de San Luis, which begins on Monday.

"I don't think there's another team in the peloton that does a race as a team presentation," Cavendish said in a statement from the team.

"It shows the Belgian roots of Etixx–Quick-Step. I think it's really entertaining that our sponsors, their guests, and fans can come here and watch a bike race instead of us just standing and talking. It's really nice, I think it integrates well, and it is as much fun for the riders as it is for the crowd. I think it gives the public another event to see, which is bike racers racing bikes. We're all competitive guys but on and off the bike, even when we're racing against each other, we're a family. That's what makes Etixx–Quick-Step special."

Kwiatkowski admitted he was excited about his season as world champion.

“I'm super proud to show myself in front of the Belgian public as world champion and it's always great for me to race here. With these rainbow stripes I am proud and hope our sponsors and supporters are as excited as we are for the upcoming season. The supporters are always there for us on good days and bad days. So, it's really important to pay them back for their effort and spend time with them here,” he said.

“It's difficult for me to be competitive with the guys like Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra, or Mark Cavendish on the track. They are such great riders in that discipline. For me, it's more fun. But I did race on the velodrome as a junior, so it's always nice to be back here. Now after two training camps, the group has come together with good spirit and we are really motivated to start our racing schedule on the road next week."

Boonen's double spring objectives

Team owner Zdenek Bakala and Marc Coucke of Etixx also attended, wishing the team all the best for the 2015 season. Coucke joked about Boonen's double objectives for the spring.

"We want to thank Mr. Zdenek Bakala for all the help he has provided this team. Thanks to his help we can have this beautiful team here in Belgium. The sponsors are committed and really behind the team,” Coucke said.

“For us, the next year will be important. But we are sure the riders will answer the call with more great performances. Also, I have to say that with Tom Boonen and his longtime girlfriend expecting twins, that maybe Tom can add another pair of twins to his 2015 in April with the Classics.”

Boonen will not ride the Tour de San Luis so he can be present at the birth.

"I think it's a special team presentation. Not every team has the possibility to do this kind of thing, but as a Belgian team we train a lot here in Gent in the winter, two times a week. That is actually how the team came up with the idea for this kind of event and three years later, here we are with a big success,” Boonen said.

“Boys will be boys. Give them a bike and they want to go fast. That's a recipe for entertainment. The fans get really enthusiastic about it and for the riders it's also fun.”