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BRUSSELS, (AFP) ─ Classics king Philippe Gilbert and yellow jersey hopeful Jurgen van den Broeck will spearhead Omega Pharma-Lotto’s bid for success at the 2011 Tour de France.
Both riders were among the nine-man squad announced Thursday by the Belgian outfit, which goes into the July 2-24 race aiming for stage wins and at least a top five finish from all-rounder van den Broeck.
Van den Broeck finished fifth overall last year and will be expected to do battle with the likes of Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans, Ivan Basso and Bradley Wiggins in the race’s fabled mountain stages and penultimate stage time trial.
Gilbert, who earlier this season claimed a hat-trick of wins in the Ardennes Classics, winning the Amstel Gold Race, Fleche-Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in the space of eight days, is in the hunt for victory on
the stages which end on a slightly uphill finish.
German Andre Greipel meanwhile has the formidable task of matching at least one of the 15 stage-winning feats of former teammate Mark Cavendish, the Briton who rides for HTC-Highroad.
Omega-Pharma for the Tour de France
- Gilbert Philippe (B)
- Andre Greipel (G)
- Sebastian Lang (G)
- Jurgen Roelandts (B)
- Marcel Sieberg (G)
- Jurgen van den Broeck (B)
- Jurgen van de Walle (B)
- Jelle Vanendert (B)
- Frederik Willems (B)