Omega Pharma-Lotto present team for 2011, dreams of something special
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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Omega Pharma-Lotto present team for 2011, dreams of something special

by Bjorn Haake at 2:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
A Tour podium would already define the season as successful

philippe gilbertOmega Pharma-Lotto officially presented its team to the public for the 2011 season. There was quite a shake-up in the winter, with 15 riders leaving. The same amount of newcomers will race for the Belgian squad in 2011, 12 riders stayed put. Riders staying include Philippe Gilbert and Jurgen Van den Broeck. The team also will focus on some of the sprint finishes, with André Greipel moving over from the HTC Columbia team.

The presentation was held today in Sint-Laureins, some 20 miles east of Brugge. Both main sponsors announced that they will stay put at least until 2015. Omega's CEO Marc Coucke sees chances in the classics, the Tour and the sprints. "There are so many on the team that we can't give a clearly defined aim," he said according to Sporza. "If the team can deliver the average of what we expect than we are content."

Simply three good weeks in July could make Coucke happy. "If we are on the Tour podium our season is already saved. If Van den Broeck can confirm his top five we should all be happy, but why not dream?"

Van den Broeck will be the main man for the Tour. But there are also the classics, with Gilbert. More than once the punchy Belgian has saved the team's season from disaster. "Winning the Tour of Flanders would be awesome," Coucke said. "We never accomplished that. Or win some Tour stages."

This would also be a job for Gilbert, if he decides to ride the Tour. "I am not thinking about the Tour yet," Gilbert said. "For me the classics come first. Afterwards I wil see if I start the Tour. The chances are good, but I never said [definitely] that I would go."

Gilbert has won classics like the Amstel Gold Race, the Tour of Lombardy and Paris-Tours. This year he really focuses on the big ones - the Tour of Flanders and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. "The day I win Liège will be the most beautiful moment in my career. If I win the Ronde [van Vlaanderen, Tour of Flanders] it will be one of the more beautiful moments."

The 27 racers:

Returning: Mario Aerts (Bel), Jan Bakelants (Bel), Adam Blythe (GB), Francis De Greef (Bel), Kenny Dehaes (Bel), Philippe Gilbert (Bel), Olivier Kaisen (Bel), Sebastian Lang (Ger), Matthew Lloyd (Aus), Jurgen Roelandts (Bel), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel), Jelle Vanendert (Bel)

New arrivals: David Boucher (Fra, Landbouwkrediet), Bart De Clercq (Bel, neoprof), Jens Debusschere (Bel, neoprof), Gert Dockx (Bel, HTC Columbia), André Greipel (Ger, HTC Columbia), Adam Hansen (Aus, HTC Columbia), Klaas Lodewyck (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen), Maarten Neyens (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen), Oscar Pujol (Spa, Cervélo), Vicente Reynes (Spa, HTC Columbia), Marcel Sieberg (Ger, HTC Columbia), Jurgen Van de Walle (Bel, Quick-Step), Sven Vandousselaere (Bel, neoprof), Jussi Veikkanen (Fin, Française des Jeux), Frederik Willems (Bel, Liquigas)

Leaving: Christophe Brandt (Bel), Wilfried Cretskens (Bel), Glenn D'Hollander (Bel), Mickael Delage (Fra, Française des Jeux), Michiel Elijzen (Ned/career end), Leif Hoste (Bel, Katusha), Jonas Ljungblad (Swe, CT Differdange), Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel, Verandas Willems-Accent), Tom Stubbe (Bel, Donckers Koffie-Jelly Belly), Greg Van Avermaet (Bel, BMC Racing Team), Charles Wegelius (GB, United Healthcare), Gerben Löwik (Ned), Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa, Katusha), Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra, AG2R), Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel, Verandas Willems-Accent)

Sports manager: Marc Sergeant
Directeurs Sportifs: Herman Frison, Dirk De Wolf, Marc Wauters, Jean-Pierre Heynderickx, Michiel Elijzen and Roberto Damiani

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