Tuesday 21 May 2013 - 20:00

OPQS Tour of Belgium Press Conference

OPQS Tour of Belgium Press Conference

Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Tom Boonen and Tony Martin met with the press today, and discussed their objectives for the upcoming Tour of Belgium. Tour of Belgium takes place from May 22nd until May 26th.

Tony Martin, 2012 Tour of Belgium Champion, is more than ready to fight once again at the 2013 edition.

"I don't know what I should expect, but I'm not afraid about the parcour," Martin said. "I think the stages really suit me well, with a nice time trial. There are some hard sections but not super hard, with long climbs. The only thing that worries me might be the weather. But I have a really good and strong team behind me. So, I think we can be optimistic."

Martin said Boonen's goal of a stage win, and his own GC aspirations, will complement each other well with a strong team around them.

"For me, the objective is more the GC and the time trial," Martin said. "I think we want to always have some fight in us, no matter the situation. Whether he needs the team support for his objectives of a stage, or I need the team for mine, I think we can handle it really well together,"

Boonen said he hopes to further tune his condition at a challenging race like Tour of Belgium.

"In Tour de Picardie I understood that I'm on a good track," Boonen said. "In Tour of Belgium I would like to reach a good condition. I will try to go for a stage. My last victory was at Paris-Brussels last year, which was a long time ago. I really want to win again, to find the good mood. "

Boonen also announced to the press that he won't take part in the Tour de France this year.

"Mark is a guarantee for the sprint at the Tour, and now the guys are tuning up also the train at the Giro. The train is also a question of mechanisms. You have to ride together as the guys are doing now at the Giro, and they are doing it very well. Even if I won't ride the Tour, I have a few objectives for my second part of the season that I really would like to reach."

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