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"Of course [it was some kind of revenge]. It was the thing that I told the guys when we came to the podium with the GreenEDGE riders: "This is the pay-back-time now," Velits tells


Photo: OPQS / Tim de Waele






22.09.2013 @ 19:32 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Peter Velits was one of several Omega Pharma-Quick Step riders that were both part of the team that was narrowly beaten by Orica-GreenEDGE in the Tour de France team time trial, and the team that got their revenge in today's world championships. For the Slovakian, it was payback time following July's disappointment.


Like most of his teammates, Peter Velits was left hugely disappointed at the Tour de France's stage 4 team time trial when Orica-GreenEDGE stopped the clock in a time that was just 0,75 second faster than the one set by Omega Pharma-Quick Step jersey.  The Slovakian took to the start line in today's world championships team time trial with a clear intention of getting his revenge.


There was no better script for the revenge match than the one that set the scene for the battle on the roads around Florence. The Belgian team got their revenge by a margin that was almost as small with only 0,81 second separating the two teams in today's tight battle.


"Of course [it was some kind of revenge]," Velits told after the race. "It was the thing that I told the guys when we came to the podium with the GreenEDGE guys: "This is the pay-back-time now.""


Both races may have been team time trials but they were hugely different. While July's stage had a rainbow jersey and a stage win in the world's biggest race on offer, today's race was for the honour of being the strongest team in the world. However, Velits rates today's win a little bit higher than the one he lost out on earlier in the year.


"It's hard to say which one is better, the victory now or the one in the Tour because if we had won in the Tour, it would've been the yellow jersey also. But I think this one feels a little bit better."


Omega Pharma-Quick Step had been the big favourites prior to the race and appeared to have the race locked up when they enjoyed comfortable leads at the first two intermediate checks. However, things turned around in the second half and at the third check, Velits suddenly found himself one second back on Orica-GreenEDGE.


While the Australian team was one purely consisting of big, strong guys, Omega Pharma-Quick Step had a couple of smaller, more versatile riders. According to Velits, that was probably what made it closer than he had hoped.


"I don't know [where we won the race]," he said. "I don't know how the other teams went on the road. If you look at me and Kwiato [Michal Kwiatkowski, ed.], we are not so big guys to pull on the flat and we maybe struggled a bit. The GreenEDGE guys are almost all from the track and they can all pull on the flat roads. It maybe didn't suit us that well but we managed to win and that's the most important. We finished with only 4 guys. For sure, it was much harder than last year."


Velits was also part of the winning ride when his team took the inaugural title last year but it won't be three in a row for the Slovakian should the Belgians repeat the victory next year. Having signed a contract with BMC, Velits will next year be one of the rivals and he couldn't have wished a better way to say goodbye to the team where he has spent the past two seasons.


"It's a nice way to say goodbye," he said. "It's a nice feeling that we just made it because it was really close."


Originally, Velits had intended to ride the time trial but having struggled on today's course, he may now skip the event. He will be part of a strong Slovakian team at Sunday's road race. You can read more on his expectations for him and team captain Peter Sagan in a later article.



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