Olympic silver medallist to strengthen Omega Pharma-Lotto
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Olympic silver medallist to strengthen Omega Pharma-Lotto

by Conal Andrews at 7:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Hit by the unexpected departure of Cadel Evans, the Omega Pharma – Lotto has signed another rider who is a strong time trialist and has his roots in MTB competition.

Jean-Christophe Péraud has signed a two year contract with the team, and will seek to excel in races against the clock. The 32 year old is the current French national time trial champion, placed second in the Chrono des Nations and twelfth in the TT at the world championships in Mendrisio.

Péraud is better known as a MTB rider. He was European champion in 2005 and then last year finished one minute and seven seconds behind compatriot Julien Absalon in the cross country race at the Beijing Olympics.

This season he worked part-time as an engineer for the French energy company Areva, which mainly provides to the nuclear power sector. He combined that with racing as an elite without contract, yet beat top French TT specialist Sylvain Chavanel in the French championships in June.

Péraud said at the time that he intended to return to mountainbiking, but his strong end of season has convinced both himself and Omega Pharma – Lotto that he’s got a future on the road.

The team has sees him playing a big role. ‘He is an excellent reinforcement for the 2010 season,” it stated in a press release. “Next year he will mainly ride road races, and our team will give him all the necessary opportunities.”

The Omega Pharma team competed this year under the Silence-Lotto title. Evans had been their big GC rider but he unexpectedly left a year early to move to the American-registered BMC Racing squad.

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