Disk operation for Chavanel, new sponsor for Quick Step team
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Disk operation for Chavanel, new sponsor for Quick Step team

by VeloNation Press at 9:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
French rider hoping for resolution of back issues

Sylvain ChavanelOne of the Quick Step team’s top performers is facing a delay of several weeks in starting his training after undergoing an operation to correct a problem with his back. Sylvain Chavanel had a troublesome disk removed on Wednesday, with Professor Jean Destandau removing the herniated L5/S1 portion in an operation in Bordeaux.

That operation was successful, and the rider hopes that it will help him in 2012 and beyond as it should rectify a long-standing issue.

“It’s already been a while that I’ve been suffering with this problem, which bothered me both on my bike and in my daily life,” he explains in a team release. “The team medical staff and I first agreed to try some conservative therapies which didn’t solve the problem. At that point I needed the operation.

“Now I’ll have to observe a period of rest. The goal is to get back on a bike in a few weeks.”

Most of Chavanel’s team-mates and rivals have either started training for 2012 or will shortly do so. He’s therefore set to be several weeks behind them, but if his back issue is solved that should set him up for a successful summer.

He is a three time Tour de France stage winner and also took the super combativity award in 2008 and again last year. That plus the Olympics Games are likely to be two of his biggest targets in the year ahead.

Meanwhile his team has had the boost of a new sponsor heading towards the 2012 season. Already set to have budget increase due to the addition of Omega Pharma as a title sponsor, the petroleum company Q8 is also coming on board and will further add to the backing the team will receive.

“Q8 is a prestigious international partner,” said team manager Patrick Lefevere, explaining that the planned marketing and communication initiatives should boost the image of the team. “We're proud that such an important company supports our project and believes in cycling as a promotional tool for their brand.”

Q8 has had long-running links with the Omega Pharma-Lotto team, and is thus continuing that association as the pharmaceutical company moves across to back Lefevere’s existing setup.

Its managing director in Northwestern Europe explained what was appealing to the company. “Pro cycling has always been very exciting to us. This sport is filled with great efforts, teamwork, experience, emotions and unique races. These are characteristics the Q8 brand strongly identifies with” said Gerrit Ruitinga.

Next year’s lineup will feature Chavanel, Tom Boonen plus many of those from the current team, as well as adding big names such as world time trial champion Tony Martin, HTC Highroad team-mates Peter and Martin Velits, and Tour de Suisse champion Levi Leipheimer.


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