Sprinting off the line; new ZippCast with Levi
Omega Pharma® - Quick-Step® Pro Cycling sure has sprinted off the line this season.
The Belgian-based team already has collected victories in France, Argentina, Qatar and Spain. And those victories have come from an array of riders -- Francesco Chicchi of Italy, Levi Leipheimer of the United States, Tom Boonen of Belgium, Zdenek Stybar of the Czech Republic and Andy Fenn of Great Britain.
What’s more, those race wins have come in a variety of ways: The two sprint victories so far by Boonen in the Tour of Qatar were team efforts, as were dual wins each for Chicchi in Tour de San Luis and Fenn at Challenge Mallorca. Leipheimer rode with strong team support as he won the time trial and overall title at the Tour de San Luis. Stybar had an impressive solo victory at a cyclocross World Cup in France.
In a new ZippCast interview, Levi Leipheimer – a veteran to racing but newcomer to Omega Pharma® – Quick-Step® discussed the dynamics of joining a new team and how to set the right tone for the season:
“It’s a big team… I still need to get to know a lot of them. A guy like Tom Boonen, he’s very friendly. He’s easy going and I know a lot of the younger guys look up to him, and he sets a good example for them. I think guys like myself and Tony Martin, we set an example of hard work and attention to detail that we both bring. There’s a lot of different personalities on the team, and the goal is to try to get everyone to work together for the best possible result for the team.”
Many choices from Zipp
Of course, just as large pro cycling teams have become more diverse and international, so have their equipment requirements.
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s recent wins have come on an array of Zipp® products. Leipheimer won his time trial on a 404 Firecrest® front and Super-9 Disc rear wheel. He also has been riding his Specialized® Shiv with an 808 Firecrest front and rear disc. For hilly rides, Leipheimer likes the 303 Firecrest. “They’re great going up hills and down,” he said.
Chicchi used the multipurpose 404 Firecrests for his wins. Boonen chose a 404 Firecrest front and 808 Firecrest rear for his recent Tour of Qatar triumphs. Boonen also has been riding the new Zipp Service Course® CSL bar with its Super Short Reach bend, which makes it easier to access the bike’s control levers.
Leipheimer said having such a selection of wheels was crucial. “When it comes down to it, the wheels are the most aerodynamic part of the bike,” Leipheimer said. “That’s really the one component that will change the handling and stiffness of the bike the most. So it’s important for a team like Omega Pharma® – Quick-Step® to have the best wheels in the world.”