Interview: Niki Terpstra
Niki Terpstra has led the charge of several key Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team moves this season. He's been in breaks, chased down breaks, and once soloed to victory. We spoke with Niki about his hard work early on for the team.
What has it been like working so hard at, or off, the front at races such as Paris-Roubaix and Ronde Van Vlaanderen?
When the team asks you to do that, it's pretty satisfying. Then, when the team wins, it's no problem having worked so hard.
What about Tom Boonen's success so far? You've been with him leading into his greatest victories.
I knew he was in amazing shape of course. Of course I helped him, but he has to be able to finish himself. I can help him a lot, but in the end he has to win with his own legs.
What about your solo victory at Dwaars door Vlaanderen, having attacked more than 30kms from the finish?
It's really great to finally win a race in Flanders. it's what I always wanted and then to win in this way, it was incredible.
What about the team's success this year, having already won 30 races?
It's definitely better than last year when we had a lot of bad luck all season long. We only had certain victories. This year we've had an incredible start. We're really in a winning mood. We keep winning, it's an amazing feeling, Drinking champagne after the race becomes normal. It must be a good recovery drink, because we're doing well on it.
What must the team do, in order to continue its success?
Just keep on winning, but it's not easy to win again. Everybody is watching us because at the moment, we are the number one team in the world. It's not easy, but we have to try and stay on top. If we keep the focus, maybe it helps.
Speaking of that: What happens when the team is doing so well, and the peloton starts looking at the team to work when breaks get away?
It's sometimes hard, but on the other side we've got some authorization in the peloton. So, if we have to be in front, we don't have to fight for our places as much. It goes a little bit easier. Last year we were just one of the other teams so we really had to fight for position in front. Now, because it goes a lot easier because we're doing well, it's not so bad.
What are your goals for 2012?
I really would like to win the national championship again. It's a pleasure to ride with the national jersey on the shoulders. You feel like you are representing the entire nation. Quite amazing. And, of course, I would try to be selected for the Olympics. It's a dream for each sport man.