Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will participate in Halle-Ingooigem, a 198.4km race on June 19th that includes eight climbs, but a relatively flat final 17km. This will be the last race of Tom Boonen in the tri-colored jersey as Belgian National Champion before defending his title at the national championship on June 23rd.
“It’s a nice race with good roads,” Sport Director Tom Steels said. “It’s going to be fast, especially the finishing circuit. Furthermore, it’s the last race before the national championships, so it is good for the rhythm. The acceleration of the corners will be good to tune up the condition. It will also be good to see how the other Belgian guys are before Sunday. About our team, we have quality riders for Halle-Ingooigem and we will go for a good result. We will probably do extra training after the race, but it will be according to the individual needs of the riders.”
OPQS rider Niki Terpstra is also ready to participate in the Dutch National Championships.
“The time trial on June 19th is in the north of Holland, and is 52km including two laps of 26 kilometers,” Terpstra said. “The forecast is sunny and hot so it is going to be a really hard time trial. With the Tour de Suisse I had a good preparation, I’m in good shape. Last year I was 3rd, and I want to go for the podium again — even if the competition will be fierce. As for the road championship on June 23rd, I am the defending champion and it’s the exact same parcour of last year. For me it’s an advantage. It’s a hard lap and we have to do it 22 or 23 times over 230km, so it’s a demanding race. I’ve shown that I can win it alone. I will fight for it and we will see what could happen.”
Terpstra added his excitement about being selected to participate in the 100th Tour de France.
“This is Tour number five for me, and I finished four times in Paris,” Terpstra said. “The sprints will be important, and of course the team time trial. I think we can put out a team that can go for a win.”
19.06 Halle-Ingooigem (BEL) 1.1
Tom Boonen (BEL),
Kevin De Weert (BEL),
Dries Devenyns (BEL),
Andrew Fenn (GBR),
Nikolas Maes (BEL),
Gianni Meersman (BEL),
Pieter Serry (BEL),
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL).
Sports Director Tom Steels (BEL).