Both Belgian ProTeams,Quick Step and Omega Pharma-Lotto, are loudly proclaiming that they are not worried by their poor showings in Dwars door Vlaanderen, and that they are not panicking. However, Quick Step is changing Tom Boonen's racing schedule in a desperate attempt to get WorldTour points.
Quick Step is the only ProTeam with no WorldTour points after having participated in four 2011 races until now (Tour Down Under, Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo).
Gent-Wevelgem is the next race with WorldTour points.
Earlier this year Boonen had said he would ride the E3-Prijs Saturday, instead of Gent-Wevelgem the next day. The team has now announced he will ride only the Sunday race this coming weekend.
“We have taken this decision because our team needs to gather points for the UCI team ranking,” team manager Patrick Lefevere told the Belga news agency.
“It was not easy to choose,” Boonen said. “I would have liked to have ridden them both. But the WorldTour is really important for the team.”
Boonen won Gent-Wevelgem in 2004, and has won the E3 Prijs four times, from 2004 to 2007.
Quick Step has only two victories so far this season, with Boonen winning a stage at the Tour of Qatar and Gert Steegmans winning the Nokere Koerse.
“No panic” at Omega Pharma-Lotto
Belgian rival team Omega Pharma-Lotto declared itself officially unconcerned about its lack of success at Dwars door Vlaanderen. “We don't blame the riders for this one day. Anyone can have an off day,” team manger Herman Frison said, according to sporza.be. “But there is no reason to start asking questions or to panic.”
Jürgen Roelandts was the team's captain in Vlaanderen, finishing only 10th, over 10 minutes down. “I had a bad day, the first of the year,” he told the Belgian media. “It was over after 150 kilometres. I don't know why. Maybe I was not completely recovered from Milan-San Remo.
“I am not worried though. I know I have good legs and I'll try again Saturday at the E3 Prijs.”