Holm says Omega Pharma-Quick Step wants to be number one in the world
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holm says Omega Pharma-Quick Step wants to be number one in the world

by Xylon van Eyck at 10:37 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews
 
Dane believes Tom Boonen is still capable of winning Classics

With several big names coming on board plus the addition of Omega Pharma as a new sponsor, the Quick Step team is set to step up a level from 2012 onwards. New directeur sportif Brian Holm says he believes a big future is in store, and in time wants to be at the very top of the sport.

“I believe we’ve got a good team but I prefer if other people say it,” he told VeloNation. “In a few years our ambition is of course to be the number one team in the world.”

Holm was part of the successful HTC Highroad setup but with that team now finished, he’s been working hard to get things ready with his new squad. Asked if it’s taken him a while to find his feet in his new employment, he said that he’s had some advantages. “I’ve known Wilfried Peeters and Rik van Slijke from Quick Step since the mid 80’s,” he explains, referring to other directeurs sportifs. “For three years we were team-mates at Histor - Sigma, so they are no strangers to me. Like most teams we’ve been planning a bit, but things take time.”

The team’s next get together is a training camp in Spain in December. The schedule for the training camp will be made out by former professional and Tour de France stage winner Tom Steels, who has a coaching role with the squad. Riders will get the chance there to train with new team-mates as they get acquainted.

Omega Pharma-Quick Step has made a number of changes to its line up for next year, bringing on high profile riders such as world time trial champion Tony Martin and Levi Leipheimer.

Both men have had a widely successful 2011 with the same approach likely to be followed next year. Martin won Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice and also took part in Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Tour de Romandie and Critérium du Dauphiné leading up to the Tour de France.

Leipheimer followed the Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya, Vuelta al Pais Vasco and Tour of California route before winning the Tour de Suisse ahead of his Tour de France campaign. Holm believes that you should “never change a winning team” when commenting about whether they would follow a similar program next year.

Another high profile rider on the squad is of course Tom Boonen, who has struggled with just two victories this year and four last year. It’s a far cry from the twenty-plus wins in a season the former world champion is used to.

Holm would like to see him get back to his former glory, but believes it’s too soon for him to know if it can happen or not. “Honestly I don’t know Boonen so well. It could take one or two seasons before I can make judgment on him,” he admitted. “From the outside he look like he’s got a few more Classics wins in his pocket. The only thing I can say is he a hell of a nice fellow,” the Dane said.

Holm was quoted in the media this week as naming Sky, BMC and RadioShack-Nissan as the new super teams for next year. Omega Pharma-Quick Step has also been named as a team to watch thanks to the changes it has made during the transfer period.

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