Starting next weekend the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team will be busy in two different competitions. Part of the team will be racing on the roads of the Challenge Mallorca, while another group will fly to Qatar for the Tour of Qatar.
"Traditionally the Tour of Qatar is a race that has always been kind to our colours," explains Wilfried Peeters. "The objective for this year is to try and win at least one stage and to do well in the team time trial scheduled on the second day of the race. We can count on a competitive team that will feature 3 riders fresh off their winning transfer to Argentina - (Tom) Boonen, (Frantisek) Rabon and (Francesco) Chicchi. We're going to try and take advantage of their current top form. Steegmans will also be an important presence. His skills in windy desert conditions and for the sprint are undeniable."
The squad that will participate in the Challenge Mallorca will be driven by Brian Holm and Tom Steels.
"We've already been in Mallorca since last Saturday," explains Team Trainer Tom Steels. "We've already had some good workouts. This is the team's third training camp for the season and the guys are eager to compete. So Mallorca is a perfect race to start the season with. We're going to try to race all the riders we have here in Mallorca. The first two stages are fairly flat for the sprinters; on the other hand the following two feature more challenging altimetry. There's room for everyone. Mallorca is the last major work segment for the team before the European season gets under way."
The Tour of Qatar full roster and stage listing.
The Challenge Mallorca full roster and stage listing.