Team News – Quickstep’s Day in Hell

Omega Pharma Quickstep’s Michal Kwiatkowski, Niki Terpstra (Paris-Roubaix winner), Matteo Trentin, and Tony Martin speaking after stage 5 in the Tour de France Stage 5 on Wednesday

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Team News – Quickstep’s Day in Hell

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Michal Kwiatkowski – “I crashed with Vasil Kiryienka on the roundabout before the first cobbled sector,” Kwiatkowski said. “We were chasing for maybe 20 kilometres. We caught the group at the intermediate sprint. We went really at the limit trying to come back because it was crosswind and the front of the group was really going full gas. The sector number eight, we went back to the front and I stayed there all day”.

“After that we had five guys. We had Tony in the breakaway and me, Baki, Renshaw, and Matteo in the first group. So, we were calm and waiting for the hardest moments. On the second-to-last cobbled sector not many guys were in the front. I was feeling super good. I was much more relaxed on the cobbles than ever before. On the cobbles on the second-to -last sector however I had a flat tyre on the front at about 700 meters from the end of the sector. I was sliding left to right, but knew there would be mechanics at the end of the sector”.

“So I tried to get there and I then swapped my wheel. Renshaw was trying to help me and Matteo, until the end of the stage, we tried to chase the group in front of us. But it was really hard to close the gap even when I was doing my best. What can I say, we had bad luck.”

“With a bit of good luck who knows what could have happened with how good I felt. But many guys in the peloton had bad luck today, and to be in the group with Nibali in yellow like that is encouraging. In the end, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step is the team that knows what they have to do even when they have trouble. We showed we are really strong today and we keep going on in the next stages. ”


Tony Martin at the front of the break. PhotoSport International. uk usa asia.

Tony Martin who crashed out of the break “The strategy was to go into the breakaway if possible and if not, to stay with Kwiatkowski,” Martin said. “Once there was a little bit of rain and wet cobbles, I thought being in the breakaway was the better strategy to stay safe and be useful for the team in the final”.

“But I knew it would be hard because everyone had the same idea and wanted also to be in the breakaway. In the end it was better than expected. I have never raced on wet cobbles before, even on dry cobbles — I did some recon and also rode on them in 2010, but I crashed then and my race was over. So this was my real first race on the cobbles”.

“I did better than I thought I would. I mean, could I ride Paris-Roubaix? Never say never. It’s always a question of my race program. I always say before I finish my career I want to do Paris-Roubaix once and after today, it shows me that I am able to do it. So, why not in the future? I felt confident”.

“I think you need experience on the cobbles and step-by-step I’m getting it. So, you never know in the future. Of course, our equipment was also a big difference today. We rode with Specialized 28mm tires in front and 30mm tires in back, so it’s a big difference from a normal bike. Even in the wet conditions of normal roads it’s really nice. You’re always confident on staying upright and keeping contact with the road. It gives you a good feeling of safety, while maintaining a high level of performance. On the cobbles you’d expect them to be much harder, but the bike supported us a lot. I was happy with the setup today.”

Niki Terpstra, this years Paris Roubaix winner, said of the stage “It was really chaotic already on the first cobblestone sections. On the second section, I didn’t have good position. It was really muddy and the whole peloton split up there. I was in the Contador group and we never came back. I still tried at sector four, to chase back to the front group, but the other group was too far in front.”

“So, the race was done for me. Of course I’m disappointed. I wanted to be in front. I knew I was in bad position and wanted to get up front, but I couldn’t manage it. The race for a good result ended after the first two sections. But, that’s the nature of this kind of parcours and I have to look forward to the next stages now.”

Matteo Trentin “Everyone was nervous today,” Trentin said. “Going into the cobbles with some climbers, some domestiques, and a small number of Classics riders, it would surely be a nightmare. It was not bad though the first section. People were already crashing 15 kilometers before the cobbles due to the technical nature of the parcours and the weather. I managed to stay in the first group, then Kwiato came back”.

“Together with Kwiato, Renshaw, and me, we caught the breakaway with Tony. Tony did a really good pull to sector number four. We entered near the front of the group. Sagan tried to split the group a little bit, and there was just 10 or 11 guys left at that point. But the second-to-last sector, bad luck happened. Kwiato had a flat 700 meters before the finish of the sector. Kwiato changed the wheel, Renshaw arrived at my wheel, and then we all pulled together for the last 10 kilometers”.

“We managed to gain 20 seconds on Nibali, which is pretty good. It was just two guys trying to save seconds going full gas. It’s a pity because when it was going so well for us, for sure we could have tried to win today. But, that’s cycling. Hopefully we can get some good luck in these next days, because we’re riding well and we’re working hard as a team.”

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