During the road race, everybody was waiting for Great Britain, and maybe even us, the German Team, to see if we had a solution to the sprint. But then at the end of the last lap, a lot of nations went in the breakaway and we were waiting a little bit thinking about what Great Britain is going to do. By the time we tried to pull, it was a little too late. All the big nations lost a great opportunity, not just us and the British. But OK, that is life!
We are now focused on the time trial on Wednesday. Today we did the parcours of the time trial. The parcours is hard, but really good for the skills of our riders, Tony Martin and Bert Grabsch. The road is nice, except for some holes in the road. But at the end of the day, this is a good parcours for our riders. I have faith in the riders. I think they can make a good performance.
For the rest, it's always difficult here for cyclists. All the sporting events are in some arenas, some location. For us, in order to train, we have to go outside of the city. We travel something like two hours a day to find a place to train and come back. But that's part of the job, and part of the Olympics. But it's also really nice in the Olympic Village. I met with a lot of athletes. It's quite funny to meet a lot of the guys and girls you watch on TV. Maybe for them, it's the same to meet Tony Martin and our guys. All of the big sportsmen can meet each other. that's the magic of the Olympic Village!
We also went to see another match with our German Team. Our team doctor, Tony, Achim, and Guido went to see a field hockey match of the German team! It's the first time we didn't understand a thing about the sport. At the end of the day, it was fun and a great time for everybody. We enjoyed our time there. At the moment we are going to try and get some food at the Olympic Village. It's always a good moment to talk with somebody. It's nice and we are happy to be able to have this experience.more information
A 31 rider breakaway, including Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Sylvain Chavanel riding for the French Olympic Road Race Team, dwindled down to about 20 riders with less than 10km and a commanding gap of about 57 seconds.
Despite the efforts of Great Britain, Belgium with OPQS rider Stijn Vandenbergh leading Belgian/OPQS teammate Tom Boonen, and OPQS rider Bert Grabsch chasing at the front for his German Olympic squad, the gap simply couldn't be cut down once Switzerland knew Fabian Cancellara was in the breakaway. They moved to the front, making it harder for the gap to be shut down before the 10km mark.
Cancellara, one of the strongest in the break, had an unfortunate crash on a turn just before the 10km mark. This created pure chaos in the breakaway. Two riders — Rigoberto Uran (Colombia) and Alexander Vinokourov (Kazakhstan) — took full advantage by attacking with about 7km to go. The chase group never organized to pull the two back. Vinokourov won the two-up sprint for gold. Alexander Kristoff (Norway) won the bronze in the chase group sprint.
Boonen suffered unfortunate luck in the final 10km, having a mechanical while in the peloton.more information
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team is prepared to compete in the most prestigious sporting event in the world.
Tom Boonen (Belgium), Sylvain Chavanel (France), Michal Golas (Poland), Bert Grabsch (Germany), Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland), Tony Martin (Germany), Niki Terpstra (Nederlands), and Stijn Vandenbergh (Belgium) will compete in the road race competition on July 28. Matteo Trentin will be in London as a reserve for the Italian Olympic Road Race team.
Chavanel, Grabsch and Martin will compete in the time trial event on August 1.
Boonen, one of the favorites, could possibly add a very important victory to his palmares if he were to win the road race. If any OPQS rider were to earn a medal, it would be a crucial accomplishment in their career and a proud moment for their country.
Martin, World Time Trial Champion, has set the Olympic podium as one of his biggest goals of the season. He was forced to abandon during the first rest day of the Tour de France in order to give himself full recovery from a fractured left scaphoid suffered earlier in the grand tour. He has dedicated his time to training, recovering, and planning for the chance to win a medal on August 1st. Chavanel, four-time French National Champion, showed his strength with several impressive performances during the Tour. He is ready to represent his country and aspires for a medal amongst the best time trialists in the world.
Riders from OPQS are not the only ones attending the Olympic Games.
Mechanic Kenny Latomme and soigneur Marc Patry will be representing the team as Belgian staff for the Olympics. Sport Director Jan Schaffrath, doctor Helge Riepenhof, soigneur Achim Schmiedel, and mechanic Guido Scheeren will also be at the Olympics with the German team.
The Olympic Road Race will be on July 28, beginning at 10 a.m. BST. The Olympic Time Trial takes place on 14:15 BST.
The final episode documenting the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team experience at the 2012 Tour de France is now available. We hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes experience these past few weeks!
Jan Schaffrath, Sports Director for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team, is on the German Olympic Cycling Team staff at the 2012 London Olympics. Here is his first blog entry documenting his experience.
This will be my second time at the Olympics, as I also participated as a staff member in Beijing in 2008. I'm here to help the team with the tactics, and to organize the daily schedule. It's not easy here, as much as it may seem so. When you arrive, everything is big and new. You have to adapt yourself really quickly, and find immediately solutions to issues that may arise.
Today we went on the parcours. I had to fight against the traffic, the real enemy here for the moment. It took 2 hours to get into the parcours! We went with our five guys from Germany: Grabsch, Martin, Greipel, Degenkolb and Sieberg. The parcour is interesting. The circuit, which we have to do nine times, is not easy. There is a pretty important climb, and the roads are narrow. The end, however, is flat. It will be spectacular.
I also saw other teams here on the parcour. Yesterday, for example, I saw Tom and Stijn with the Belgian team. It's strange to see riders you work with for the entire year, being part of another team. But that's also fantastic. It's like what happens in the football clubs during the Olympics and the world championship. It's a great feeling, and I'm really proud to defend the colors of my nation here.
The only downside, for me, is that I can't go to the opening ceremony tomorrow. The day after we have the race, so we have to stay focused. It's strange. I'm in London, and I will watch the ceremony on the television like the rest of the world. The difference maybe will be the fire works. I'm sure we will see them. It will be like Dec. 31, the last night of the year. But perhaps a little out of season! ;-)more information