The Omega Pharma – Lotto report at the end of the spring time classics is satisfying.
In some races, the team has not been up to scratch, but our leader Philippe Gilbert has put all things right. Phil signed a brilliant series, crowned by his great win at Amstel Gold Race and, icing on the cake, his present n° 1 position in the UCI World Classification.
Well, it is now time to aim at the great tours, to be started next week on Saturday by Tour of Italy. Sport Manager Marc Sergeant has selected the following nine riders:
• Bakelants Jan
• Blythe Adam (Gbr)
• De Greef Francis
• Elijzen Michiel (Ned)
• Kaisen Olivier
• Lang Sebastian (Ger)
• Lloyd Matthew (Aus)
• Moreno Fernandez Daniel (Spa)
• Wegelius Charles (Gbr)
The selection including some young talent mixed with hard experience, should bring some interesting results.
For Adam Blythe, Michiel Elijzen and Jan Bakelants, the Giro will be the baptism of fire. Jan, as ex-winner of Tour de l’Avenir, has real ambitions for great stage races; he will have occasion during the three coming weeks to discover and try them. Adam was good in the top classics, he will continue his schooling during the Giro. He might take his chance in some sprint finish. As the three first days will be on Dutch ground, Michiel will have some ambitions at the start and, being a chrono man, he looks forward to the opening prologue.
Francis De Greef has already raced to excellent Giro. This year, he will aim to win one mountain stage. He is a mountain racer, so is also Matthew Lloyd, and both of them can be useful for our Daniel Moreno.
Our Spanish climb has chosen the Giro – Tour combination rather than his national Vuelta. The decision to favour Tour of Italy was influenced by the hard mountainous finishing week which could help his getting a good final result.
And with Sebastian Lang, Olivier Kaisen and Charles Wegelius, we have three experienced great tour riders. Sebastian and Olivier are always ready to pull, and our Brit intends to continue on the line of his strong Tour of Romandie.