Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team is getting ready to defend its UCI World TTT Championship. OPQS worked closely with Specialized today in the circuit of Zolder to ensure every detail of a TTT is examined closely, in hopes of an optimized performance in Florence on the 22nd of September. The test took place from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and included the following OPQS riders: Sylvain Chavanel, Peter Velits, Michal Kwiatkowski, Julien Vermote, Kristof Vandewalle, and Niki Terpstra. Tony Martin was not present because he was busy with the the last preparations before La Vuelta a España. OPQS rider Tom Boonen also paid the team a visit, as the testing took place not far from his house.
“We met here today at the circuit in Zolder to run some tests with Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in preparation for the UCI World TTT in Florence,” said Simone Toccafondi, Head of the Specialized Road Racing Division. “The idea was to understand a little bit better some mechanisms that usually happen during the team time trial. We collected information with our data acquisition systems that was positioned on each rider’s bike. We believe we’ve collected interesting and important data that will be analyzed and discussed with the team. We want to see what we learned and what can be used in future references.”
“The goal was to collect data and practice technique inside the team and really to learn for the future,” Sport and Development Manager Rolf Aldag said. “For example, what is the proper length for an individual lead, what is the right order for the team, and how do we really approach corners and accelerate out of them. That is like three massive things that make a difference in a TTT. They all will play an important role in the UCI World TTT Championship in Florence, where we will definitely try to defend our world title. That means we have to focus on it. If you look at the Tour de France, the first three teams, in half the distance, we’re talking about between first and third there was a difference of maybe four seconds. You can win or lose it in two corners. So, that is why it is important to work closely with our partners such as SRAM and Zipp, as well as Vermarc for our TTT clothing, to even improve the performance of last year.”
“It was a very interesting experience for us,” Belgian TT Champion Kristof Vandewalle said. “It shows there is a great team effort for the TTT, to be present in testing like this and really take a close look at all the important moments of a course. I think it also shows a commitment by the riders to practice together and get into the rhythm so we can best defend our UCI World TTT Championship. We are a strong group as individuals, but we want to make sure we work great together as teammates. We have to be in perfect sync all the way to the finish line, and I think testing like this will guide us in that direction.”