Jurgen Van Den Broeck to race the Tour de France and Vuelta a España in 2011
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jurgen Van Den Broeck to race the Tour de France and Vuelta a España in 2011

by Jered Gruber at 5:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Promising Belgian Grand Tour threat looks to Vuelta as experiment for 2012 and 2013 Worlds bids

Omega Pharma-Lotto's Grand Tour hope, Jurgen Van Den Broeck, looks set to take on two three week tours in 2011, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana.

Curiously, Van Den Broeck doesn't appear to be targeting the Vuelta for the win or a placing, but rather as an experiment of sorts with the 2012 and 2013 World Championships in mind.

"The Vuelta will be a test case in view of the World Championships of 2012 in Valkenburg and 2013 in Firenze. I want to play a leading role, and I am wondering what level I can hope to achieve late in the year," said the Tour de France revelation in a conversation with Sporza.

The 27 year old had hoped to take part in this September's Tour of Spain, but had to drop the plan due to being justifiably tired following his breakout Tour de France success, which netted him 5th place overall in Paris.

The focus on the upcoming difficult World Championship courses also seems to have sparked a bit more of an interest in the one day Classics in the spring, but not the ones that you would normally think of like Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Fleche Wallonne, or Amstel Gold, instead, the native of Herentals cites the Brabantse Pijl as a race that he wants to win.

"The route of that Classic does not lie. All those short, angry slopes where you have to sprint makes it a difficult course. Over the past year, the Brabantse Pijl has hardened. It's a race of pure attrition. It's basically a race that I can win. I need such a victory - it would make a world of a difference."

With his Grand Tour schedule laid out and a new focus on the one day races beginning to take shape, the only thing left for Van Den Broeck is to take care of his team situation.

The ever improving Belgian hopes to stay with Omega Pharma-Lotto until 2013. The deal has not been finalized yet, but it looks likely to go through. Van Den Broeck defends his motivation for a long term deal - not as an opportunity to rest on his laurels, but as a foundation to allow him to work even harder.

"Some would have the tendency to feel at ease and that the pressure to perform would be lost, but that's not the case with me. I see a long contract as a sign of trust and a basis for working harder for what I want to achieve."

The goals and plans that Jurgen Van Den Broeck has laid out before him look nothing short of intriguing. It will be interesting to see how not only 2011 goes, but 2012 and 2013 as well.


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