Omega Pharma-Quick Step heads into a busy weekend of racing. On Saturday, Zdenek Stybar returns to competition in the Brussels Cycling Classic after his horrific crash in the Eneco Tour and on Sunday, Mark Cavendish starts his autumn highlight, the Tour of Britain.
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selections that will participate in Brussels Cycling Classic, a 201.7km one-day race on September 6th, and Tour of Britain, a 1376,7 km, nine-stage race from September 7th until September 14th.
Brussels Cycling Classic includes 19 "hellingen," such as the Vossemberg and the Langestraat. However, it is a race known for the sprint finish and has been won by riders such as Matthew Goss in 2009, Tom Boonen in 2012, and Andre Greipel in 2013.
For OPQS, an important part of the race will be the return to competition for Zdenek Stybar after a scary crash at Eneco Tour.
"Fortunately I'm recovering quickly," Stybar said. "I have some minor problems that don't affect my training schedule, even if sometimes I feel a bit of pain. I started training last week without intensity, just to go for few rides in the Ardennes. I was there to build up a little condition and to try and get a feel for my body after an injury and time off the bike. I'm happy to report that I got the answer I was hoping for.
"So, the goal is to compete on Saturday. I'm super excited to think about racing again. After a crash like that I want to see how I can react, but it's more important to take it day-by-day and I'm simply happy to return to competition this weekend."
Tour of Britain features an opening flat stage in Liverpool, six hilly stages, and a two-stage day to conclude the stage race in London. There is an 8.8km ITT, and an 88.8km flat stage (Stages 8a and 8b).
"We have a good team for both the GC and the sprints," Sport Director Brian Holm said. "Mark Cavendish will be present and we'd like to put him in the best position possible to contest a few sprints, but we also have riders who can compete for the overall. Riders such as Michal Kwiatkowski and Niki Terpstra can certainly be a presence in the ITT. We have a competitive team.
"It will be nice to be there, especially with how supportive the British public is. The love of cycling in the UK was evident at the opening stages of the Tour de France this year, and we saw how popular cycling was even at Tour of Britain in 2013. We are there to fight every day, both for stage victories and a good placement in the GC."
OPQS for Brussels Cycling Classic:
Andrew Fenn (GBR)
Iljo Keisse (BEL)
Gianni Meersman (BEL)
Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)
Gert Steegmans (BEL)
Zdenek Stybar (CZE)
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL)
Stijn Vandenbergh (BEL)
OPQS for Tour of Britan:
Mark Cavendish (GBR)
Michal Golas (POL)
Michal Kwiatkowski (POL)
Mark Renshaw (AUS)
Niki Terpstra (NED)
Julien Vermote (BEL)
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