Quick Step ready to put 2011 behind it

Team Quick Step is eager to put 2011 behind it and go into the 2012 season together with Omega Pharma. This was a season to forget for the Belgian squad, or as sports director Wilfried Peeters put it, “I do not deny that it was bad.”

The team had only eight wins on the season, with two of them coming from the team's star, Tom Boonen.  The biggest win was Boonen's victory in Gent-Wevelgem.  Of the other five wins, three were national titles. Only one other WorldTour team had fewer wins on the year.

"What has happened to us, I had predicted in January," Peeters told the Gazet van Antwerpen. "Then it's a little easier to accept it. Last year we could disguise it with a good Tour, but now there was nothing. Logically, we just did not have the quality."

Boonen “kept the team up” after the departure of such riders as Paolo Bettini. But the former top sprinter has suffered numerous injuries over the past few years. He started out this season by winning the first stage of the Tour of Qatar, and went on to win Gent-Wevelgem at the end of March.

A crash in the Tour de France gave him a concussion which eventually knocked him out of the race. He had hoped to use the Vuelta a Espana to get in form for the World Championships, but after first suffering from severe saddle sores, he crashed on the fifteenth stage, breaking various small bones in his hand.

"One thing is certain, 2012 can and will be much better," said Peeters. “We have many good newcomers, and the team's quality is strengthened."

Of the 12 new riders for Omega Pharma-Quick Step in 2012, six of them come from HTC-Highroad, including World time trial champion Tony Martin.  "I foresee no problems with the integration of the riders from HTC,” Peeters said.

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