By Nigel Wynn
Tom Boonen will spearhead Omega Pharma-QuickStep's strong line-up for Saturday's Milan-San Remo classic in Italy.
Boonen has shown something of a return to form this season, having won a stage of Paris-Nice, a stage of the Tour of San Luis, and two stages and the overall classification of the Tour of Qatar.
The Belgian will line up alongside Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel, who was QuickStep's top finisher in Milan-San Remo last year. Chavanel finished in 20th spot to Boonen's 28th in the race won by Australian Matt Goss.
"The team is coming to the starting line with a designated leader, Tom Boonen," said Omega Pharma-QuickStep manager Davide Bramati.
"In this first part of the season, Tom has proven to be in top form. He even shined in the recent Paris-Nice, winning the stage in Orleans and then he followed this up by doing a great job for Levi Leipheimer.
"The squad is well equipped either way to be a major player in every phase of the race. We can count on outstanding individuals who can adapt to the tactical situations that might come up along the route."
Multiple classics and Grand Tour stage winner Boonen has had a relatively fallow few years since winning Paris-Roubaix in 2009. A troubled spell in 2009 saw him receive counselling after testing positive for cocaine for a second time. Now, though, he appears to be back to pre-2009 shape and ready to tackle the Spring Classics head on.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep for Milan-San Remo
Gerald Ciolek, Jerome Pineau, Niki Terpstra, Nikolas Maes, Peter Velits, Stijn Vandenbergh, Sylvain Chavanel, Tom Boonen
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