Omega Pharma officially confirms its intention to continue WorldTour team
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Omega Pharma officially confirms its intention to continue WorldTour team

by Ben Atkins at 11:00 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Belgian team hints at merger with smaller, unnamed outfit to make up shortfall for loss of Lotto

omega pharmaAlthough it has already been announced in the media that Omega Pharma intended to carry on with its WorldTour team, despite its co-sponsor Lotto deciding to go elsewhere, a joint statement from the team and the sponsor has been released to confirm this.

With Lotto, the Belgian national lottery, going its own way to set up a Belgian cycling project, Omega Pharma has been left with the task of finding a new partner to make up the shortfall in budget needed to maintain a team in the sport’s top echelon.

With rumours saying that the team’s Tour hope Jurgen Van Den Broeck and new climbing hero Jelle Vanendert will be following Lotto, and with the destination of Philippe Gilbert currently uncertain, the team will also be out to recruit some new big names for 2012.

Marc Coucke, the CEO of Omega Pharma, and Geert Coeman, the CEO of the Belgian Cycling Company (the team’s parent company) have confirmed that, while a number of options were looked at, it has been decided that the best course is to merge with another, smaller team.

“Out of a selection of potential partners, 6 options have been examined,” says the statement signed by both men. “This proves that the structure and ethical code that Omega Pharma and Belgian Cycling Company have maintained in Cycling are most appreciated.

“After deep evaluation, Omega Pharma and BCC have selected a priority way, and came easily to an agreement with another existing team, to join forces so it may compete, both on international and Belgian level, with the top of the WorldTour.”

Details of the partnership, including the identity of the team that Omega Pharma will be merging with, will be released in the near future in a joint announcement.

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