Omega Pharma – Quick-Step | September 16, 2012
Team OmegaPharma-Quick Step became a World Champion today thanks to its six-man team winning the team time trial in The Netherlands.
"I put this very high, right next to [my classics wins]. This is one of those wins I never expected, especially because the race didn't exist before!" Boonen said in a light-hearted mood after the finish.
"On paper, we had the strongest six and it was our job to fight together as a team and find a good rhythm," Martin, the world time trial champion said. "The strongest guys should always think about the weakest, and the weakest the strongest. We did a good job today and fought well, we worked in unison, which was the key to success."
OmegaPharma barely held on to the win. Its time, 1 hour and 3-17 minutes, almost didn't stand BMC Racing's charge. BMC clocked a time just three seconds slower, and when they did, Boonen knew his team won and punched the air similar to how he did when he won the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix this season.
"We started thinking about it last year and working on it," Boonen added. "It's not bad to have some different goals other than the classics. Niki has been pushing for decent bikes and helmets for a while. Now it's all available and the trainers are helping us out well. It's different, when you have a result like this, it makes it worth while."
Specialized joined the team again at the start of the season. The six used its Shiv bike and aero helps to win the gold medal. Boonen spoke of having the new bikes and World Champion Martin.
"Tony's a machine on the bike. The main thing is not having someone kill the others, but maintain a level that everyone else can continue. When we talked at the finish line, we all had the impression we went too slow!"
Traditional time trial-strong teams, Garmin and Sky placed further back. OmegaPharma recognised that their goals were earlier in the season and that its reconnaissance paid off.
"Together with [DS] Tom Steels, we came here three months a go to make a video," explained Wilfried Peeters. "Tom did the recon with the team, on individual basis and then in the last three days as a whole team. I'm happy that he showed the energy and it paid off."
The team also won the Tour de l'Ain team time trial this year and placed second in the Vuelta a España test.