Van Den Broeck to lead Omega Pharma-Lotto in 2010 Tour de France
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Friday, January 1, 2010

Van Den Broeck to lead Omega Pharma-Lotto in 2010 Tour de France

by Conal Andrews at 5:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Cadel Evans has left, but the Omega Pharma-Lotto team is hoping that Jurgen Van den Broeck can step up and fill the gap in 2010.

The 26-year-old Belgian rider showed his Grand Tour pedigree when he finished seventh overall in the 2008 Giro d’Italia; he then went on to place fifth on a stage and fifteenth overall in his debut Tour de France last July.

A strong climber and capable time trialist, he is tipped as one to watch by the team’s general manager, Geert Coeman.

“Jurgen…has demonstrated last year that he is a man for the big tours,” he said. “His main goal is the Tour de France. It is possible; he can succeed with the help of our last reinforcement, Spain's Daniel Moreno.”

He also expects more big performances from Philippe Gilbert, who had a standout 2009 season. “Philippe… will improve his top level in the classics - he is aiming at Milan-San Remo and, why not, at the Ronde [Tour of Flanders].”

Gilbert showed good form early on when he placed third in the latter race, fourth in Amstel Gold and fourth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He won stage 20 in the Giro d’Italia with an impressive solo attack near the finish, and also took a stage plus the overall in the Ster Elektrotoer.

But it was his autumn campaign which impressed most; following his solid sixth place in the world championships, he took four consecutive wins. These were the Coppa Sabatini, the Giro del Piemonte, Paris-Tours and the Giro di Lombardia,

Three others are also tipped by Coeman for 2010: “Greg Van Avermaet and Jurgen Roelandts look for another success in a great race, Leif Hoste will forget an unhappy season and looks forward to the Ronde and Paris-Roubaix.”

Sports manager Marc Sergeant commented on the team’s lax beginning to the 2009 season, saying that it started slow but constantly accelerated and finished the season like a TGV [high speed train]. “I still have the shivers from that,” he admitted.

“Philippe Gilbert is presently gathering all the honours which he deserves, and which somehow go also to the team,” Sergeant continued. “Being [a rider of] fair play, on each occasion he has thanked the team for their assistance. He knows very well that he could single-handedly have been the great winner he was in 2009 and which he will be in 2010.

“I wish to express the hope that the team will continue with its victorious momentum, and that we shall bring these great moments again in the coming year.”

The team was known as Silence-Lotto in 2009, but will go by the Omega Pharma Lotto name this season.”


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