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Omega Pharma Quickstep thrilled to be champions
Sep 17th, 12. Omega Pharma Quick Step Cycling Team won gold at the 53.2km UCI World TTT Championship, beating BMC and Orica GreenEdge to the top step of the podium.
The Belgian team was the fastest at all the time checks, finishing the course in a time of 1:03.17
Knowing they had a chance at the gold medal, the team huddled in anticipation watching BMC Racing Team as they rode to the finish.
The team was elated when they won gold ahead 3.23s ahead of BMC and 47.05s ahead of Orica GreenEdge (with Kiwi Sam Bewley).
Omega Pharma Quick Step (OPQS) was ahead of BMC Racing Team by 8.26s at the first checkpoint, and when they passed the second checkpoint, they had almost 4s" on Rabobank Cycling Team. Orica-GreenEDGE passed through the 2nd checkpoint faster than Rabobank, but still 28.63s down on.
OPQS finished with all six riders: Peter Velits, Sylvain Chavanel, Tom Boonen, Tony Martin, Niki Terpstra and Kristof Vandewalle.
This is the 53rd victory for OPQS in 2012, in three disciplines.
Chavanel - proud
"It's super to be a part of the group — I'm proud," Chavanel said. "It's really a great team effort, even for the staff. After the finish it was an explosion of happiness. it was a great week preparing the TTT. We were together, working together, paying attention to all the little details. I have to thank also our staff. They were great during the entire approach to the race. We were thinking about this race for a long time. I have no world champion jersey but I'm happy as I have this gold medal! I think it's a great discipline. Fun to do, and great to watch for the public. It's also a great motivation for Wednesday's race!"
Boonen - one of his best victories
"I put this victory near my biggest, along with the Classics and the Road World Championship," Boonen said. "I didn't expect to win a race like this, first of all because it never existed before and in the past it wasn't our discipline. We worked a lot and now we are there. It's a team victory even for the staff. It's really a change of mentality going on."
Martin - really happy
"We fought together as a team," Martin said. "I'm really happy for all the team. We maintained always a good pace. I really enjoyed today. It was fun and I really like this idea, this TTT World Championship. The team work was once again the key to the success. This victory gives me a lot of morale for Wednesday's race."
Terpstra - Dutch pride
"I'm happy because we won in front of my public," Niki Terpstra said about winning in Limburg, as he is Dutch. "This finish and the Cauberg are legendary in cycling. It wasn't our goal to arrive with six riders, but we made it anyway. Nobody wanted to give up! We really raced like a team today."
Vandewalle - what a feeling!
"It's my first time in a great race like that," Vandewalle said. "What a feeling! When I was selected it was a great moment. I was a little bit scared but Sylvain Chavanel — my roommate — helped me to pass the emotion. I really gave everything. It will be a special memory for the rest of my career."
Velits - hard work paid off
"I worked a lot on the TT bike," Velits said. "When you are on the team like that you cannot go wrong. We did a good ride, without mistakes. We were really fast on the parcour. This race is a good idea, it gives great prestige to the teams. It's great also as a Slovakian rider. I brought a title to my home country and now I'm looking forward to the next Worlds races in Limburg."
DS - preparation was key
"Together with Steels and Schaffrath we did a great job in the last days," Sports Director Wilfried Peeters said of the staff preparation. "A few months ago we did the first recon and we recorded everything for our riders.
"Then we came here again after Eneco Tour with the riders and we did the course. Then in the last days we really put everything into preparing as best as we can this race. Tom Steels put really a lot of energy into it and everything went well.
"It was a great team effort even on the staff side. Mechanics, masseurs, everybody on the team has to be proud of it and feel as if they are a part of this great victory."
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