Brian Holm happy about successful season but now looks to the Tour de France
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Brian Holm happy about successful season but now looks to the Tour de France

by Xylon van Eyck at 9:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
The Dane breaks down the different responsibilities of the riders

Brian HolmWith thirty victories so far this season, Omega Pharma-QuickStep can be very happy with how the year has gone. Sports Director Brian Holm has spoken about his first six months of the season with the squad, admitting that he was as nervous as a neo pro joining a new team after HighRoad's demise.

That emotion turned to happiness when Francesco Chicchi took the team’s first victory early in the season at Tour de San Luis in January.

“Coming from a team where I was for fifteen years to something brand new is always a challenge,” Holm told VeloNation. 'I knew [fellow Sports Directors] Wilfried Peeters, Rik van Slijke and Tom Steels from my days as a pro and they were always good friends. I did not like David Bramati at all when I rode because he was so loud, but now I really love him.”

Holm went on to say that it was a real surprise when things went so well for team. Tom Boonen returned to his old self, winning seven races before going on to do the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix double. His form added to the momentum and spurred the other riders on.

“I believe our key to success was a good riding by Tom Boonen from the first race,” he explained. “When the top of the pyramid is well, often things under that go smoother.

“Tom was maybe more motivated because there was a lot of changes in the team like glasses, bikes, wheels, plus new teammates like Tony Martin and Levi Leipheimer.”

Boonen has decided not to go to the Tour, choosing to focus completely on the Olympics and getting ready in the way he feels is best for him. However the team will field a strong squad and will chase more success there. Holm warns against complacency, and said that the riders need to keep the pressure on.

“The most stupid thing is to underestimate the other teams. Victories are fast forgotten and nobody really sits down saying: 'well done folks, lets have a break because we’ve won enough’,” he said.

“There’s always something important ahead and in this case, it’s the Tour. It never gets boring.”

The team will be heading into the race with an encouraged performance from Leipheimer last week in the Tour de Suisse where the American finished in third place overall. He will be the co-captain on the road, along with 2010 Vuelta runner-up Peter Velits.

There’s others who can shine too, of course, and Holm further breaks down some of the riders’ responsibility for the race.

“As captains, we will have Levi and Velits for the general classification. Tony Martin for the time trials and Sylvain Chavanel for breakaways and a general ‘dress well and hold the door for the ladies’,” Holm concluded with a smile.

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