OPQS to the National Road Championships
Injury Update: Iljo Keisse, Julien Vermote, Stijn Vandenbergh.
There are National Road Championships taking place everywhere in Europe on Sunday, with riders of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team participating in eight different road races.
OPQS will try to repeat the success of 2012, when the team won a total of nine national championships between the time trial and road events of various countries.
Tony Martin and Bert Grabsch will both participate in the German Road Championship. Michal Golas will be defending his Polish National Champion jersey as well, and Michal Kwiatkowski will be another Polish participant. Peter Velits will participate in the Slovak National Championship. Sylvain Chavanel and Jerome Pineau will both race the French National Championship. Chavanel won his fifth National Time Trial Championship on Thursday and next goes for the tri-colored jersey on the road. Even despite a crash after Friday’s Spanish National Time Trial Championship, Carlos Verona will normally take the start on Sunday.
Mark Cavendish will have the possibility of adding a Great Britain National Championship to his palmares that include 102 career victories. Andrew Fenn will also race. Tom Boonen will be present at the Belgium National Championship on Sunday, in hopes of defending the tri-colored Belgian jersey. Other OPQS riders participating in the Belgium National Championship are: Gianni Meersman, Kevin De Weert, Dries Devenyns, Nikolas Maes, Serge Pauwels, Pieter Serry, Gert Steegmans, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Kristof Vandewalle.
Finally, Niki Terpstra will also try to repeat as Dutch National Road Champion on Sunday.
Unfortunately, Iljo Keisse, Julien Vermote, and Stijn Vandenbergh will not take the start. Keisse had an X-Ray performed on his left hand after suffering a 4th metacarpal fracture during the Giro. The results showed that everything is ok, but the fracture is taking a while to fully heal. He will have to wear a cast for another three weeks. The decision for Vermote not to start was made by team medical staff as a precautionary measure, after being diagnosed with the beginning of tendinitis on his left knee. Vandenbergh is improving after an injury of his left knee. It caused him trouble last time, forcing him to withdraw from AMGEN Tour of California. He trains for about three hours every day, but due to the long period of inactivity he is not yet ready to compete.
Belgium: Tom Boonen, Gianni Meersman, Kevin De Weert, Dries Devenyns, Nikolas Maes, Serge Pauwels, Pieter Serry, Gert Steegmans, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Kristof Vandewalle
Poland: Michal Golas, Michal Kwiatkowski
Germany: Tony Martin, Bert Grabsch
Slovakia: Peter Velits
Great Britain: Mark Cavendish, Andrew Fenn
France: Sylvain Chavanel, Jerome Pineau
Dutch: Niki Terpstra
Spain: Carlos Verona