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"We will be present with Mark Cavendish for these stages, with two riders to work with him. Mark Renshaw and Alessandro Petacchi will be there to work with him to practice the leadouts and try to win a stage. Tony and Kwiatko will stil...

Photo: OPQS / Tim De Waele

ALESSANDRO PETACCHI

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JULIEN VERMOTE

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MARK CAVENDISH

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MARK RENSHAW

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MICHAL GOLAS

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MICHAL KWIATKOWSKI

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QUICK-STEP - ALPHA VINYL

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THOMAS DE GENDT

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TONY MARTIN

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VOLTA AO ALGARVE

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18.02.2014 @ 14:25 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Omega Pharma-Quick Step return to a happy hunting ground when they line up in tomorrow's Volta ao Algarve. After going 1-2 last year, Tony Martin and Michal Kwiatkowski will try to repeat the feat while Mark Cavendish will target success in the sprint stages.

 

Last week Omega Pharma-Quick Step dominated the Challenge Mallorca and the Tour of Qatar and the Belgian team will try to continue their success in the 5-day Volta ao Algarve that starts tomorrow. Last year the team had huge success in the Portuguese race as Tony Martin took his 2nd overall win while Michal Kwiatkowski finished 2nd.

 

Those two riders will be back for more in a race that is set to be decided by the stage 3 time trial and the traditional summit finish on the short Alto do Malhao on Saturday. Compared to recent editions, the time trial has been shortened, meaning that it will be harder for Martin to take a third win in the race.

 

The team will also line up Mark Cavendish who will continue his work to set up the lead-out with Mark Renshaw and Alessandro Petacchi. The race has a number of sprint opportunities and Cavendish will be eager to take his first win of the season.

 

The team is completed by new signing Thomas De Gendt, Michal Golas and Julien Vermote.

 

"Last year we won the race with Tony Martin," Sport Director Tom Steels said. "We also had a great performance of Kwiatkowski. This year will be more difficult for us because the first stage and the last stage will be stages for sprinters. We will be present with Mark Cavendish for these stages, with two riders to work with him. Mark Renshaw and Alessandro Petacchi will be there to work with him to practice the leadouts and try to win a stage.

 

"Tony and Kwiatko will still be the guys for the general classification. But, the time trial is not so long as it has been in the past. It will be a closer battle for the GC as between sprint stages and a short distance TT, there is less of a possibility for a large time gap, but also a chance for one situation to make the difference in the entire race. This means the team must work harder in terms of staying focused in case of any surprises. It will be important to try and win stages and then try and go for the GC without any mistakes. That could make the difference in this year's edition of the race."
 

We will have a preview of the race online later today.

 

Omega Pharma-Quick Step for the Volta ao Algarve:

Tony Martin, Mark Cavendish, Michal Kwiatkowski, Michal Golas, Mark Renshaw, Thomas De Gendt, Alessandro Petacchi and Julien Vermote

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