Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has officially announced the names of the athletes who will take part in both the time trial and road national championships in nine different countries.
The time trials will kick off on Wednesday, June 20th, starting with Niki Terpstra in the Dutch National Time Trial Championships. Terpstra will also be participating in the road race scheduled for next Sunday, June 24th.
In Germany, Tony Martin and Bert Grabsch will participate in the time trial. Grabsch will try to defend the title he won last year. Ciolek and Grabsch will also be participating in the road race.
Tony Martin will not be lining up to start the race.
"I'm really sorry that I can't be there for the start of the race," declared the World Time Trial Champion, "but I want to concentrate on recuperating and training so I can be at my best for the Tour de France, which will be opening with a time trial prologue, no less."
Zdenek Stybar and Frantisek Rabon will take part in both tests — the time trial on June 21st, and next Sunday's road race. The same goes for the Velits twins, Martin and Peter, who will try to capture the time trial and road titles on those same days. Both the Slovak and the Czech Championships will be contested in a single test with two separate classifications, one for each country.
In France, Sylvain Chavanel will try to garner the 4th national time trial success in his career on June 21st. Jerome Pineau will also take part in this race. Then, both riders will line up for the road race on Sunday.
"It's no secret that I would like to do well in the time trial," commented Chavanel. "This year I have started feeling like I used to, and in the time trial for the Tour de Dauphiné that gave me an awareness of what I can do."
In Poland, Michal Kwiatkowski will take part in the time trial on Thursday the 21st. On Sunday, Kwiatkowski and Michal Golas will take part in the road race.
In Ireland, Matt Brammeier will try to defend the title he clinched last year in the road race.
"The objective is to ride a good race," said Brammeier. "One of the most intimidating adversaries will be Roche, who proved to be in top form at the Tour de Suisse."
In Italy, Matteo Trentin, Marco Bandiera and Dario Cataldo will be at the starting gate for the road race on Saturday the 23rd. On Sunday the 24th, Cataldo and Trentin will also participate in the time trial. It will be a special race for Trentin, who will be racing right in his native town of Borgovalsugana, where he still lives.
Last but not least, the Belgium National Championships will be held on Sunday the 24th in Geel, Belgium. As usual, they're expecting large crowds on the circuit suited for sprinters. For Boonen, it will be like riding at home. In fact, Tornado Tom lives just a few kilometers from the track.
"It will be a nice race," commented Boonen. "The team is very strong and we can count on many men at the starting line. Wearing the National jersey for the second time in my career — close to home — would be a dream come true, but it won't be easy. However on the team there are other athletes who could win this race."
All eleven Belgian riders from the team will take part in the race: Tom Boonen, Kevin De Weert, Dries Devenyns, Iljo Keisse, Nikolas Maes, Serge Pauwels, Gert Steegmans, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Stijn Vandenbergh, Kristof Vandewalle, and Julien Vermote.