2014 Omega Pharma-QuickStep Team Presented in Ghent
1,700 cheering cycling fans attended the event, which featured the Omega Pharma-QuickStep riders and staff members that are not in Australia preparing for this year's Tour Down Under.
In traditional fashion known from track cycling, Omega Pharma-QuickStep riders were introduced while riding around the Eddy Merckx velodrome. Following the presentation of the riders they competed against each other in various disciplines on the track.
"This was a really great and unique show and I'm super happy to be here," British National Champion Mark Cavendish told Roadcycling.com during the event and added "It was fun for everyone. Even my daughter Delilah had a great time. I couldn't believe how many fans we had cheering for us and it was fantastic to get on the track with the guys in front of them all."
According to Cavendish "The team is looking brilliant across all aspects of cycling."
"In the grand tours, for example the Tour de France we're going to go and win stages. Rigoberto Uran is here and he will be the guy at the Giro d'Italia for the hilly stages and maybe even the hilly Classics. Then, of course, Tom (Boonen) is back and in incredible condition for the northern Classics this year."
"We've also got World Champion Tony Martin in superb form," Cavendish continued. "Then finally we're the two-time defending World Team Time Trial Champions. It's an incredible, formidable lineup this year and I'm so excited to be starting as part of this team in my second year with the team."
Former World Champion Tom Boonen told Roadcycling.com he was really happy to be able to start his 2014 season with today's successful track-based presentation and his return is more emotional for him following a 2013 season, which for him was dominated by hardship.
"I'm in shape as I have been previous years and am doing great. I had a smile on my face the entire time during this presentation to the public. I even won an event on the track today, which was a nice touch for me. I really enjoyed doing this in front of such an impressive crowd. Sometimes team presentations can be boring, but this has been far from it. For us, the fans, the media, the VIPS, and everyone else here I believe it was super fun."
After today's team presentation in the Eddy Merckx Velodrome in Gent the 2014 Omega Pharma-QuickStep team is now looking forward to the 2014 road season debut at the Tour Down Under and the Tour de San Luis.