Belgians eager for new season with new RadioShack team

Steegmans, Hermans praised by Directeur Sportif Demol

RadioShack is strengthened with youth and sprinting experience from Belgium for next season. Tour de France stage winner Gert Steegmans and youngster Ben Hermans signed for Lance Armstrong's team this year and look forward to the team's camp next month.

Hermans is moving up “from the minor leagues to the Champions League,” RadioShack DS Dirk Demol told Belgian newspaper Het Belang van Limburg.

Hermans, 23, comes over from the Professional Continental team Topsport Vlaanderen. He will primarily serve as a helper to the other riders, except during the Ardennes Classics, said Demol. "There he will have a free role.”

“I can't expect to start in the Tour, but I want to do well in the Ardennes Classics,” said Hermans.

Demol wanted to make sure RadioShack has one rider capable of winning the sprints.

"When I mentioned Steegmans' name, Armstrong immediately agreed.” Steegmans, 29, will concentrate on the Spring Classics, but is also in the pre-selection for the Tour de France.

Steegmans started the 2009 season with team Katusha but his contract was terminated in August after he refused to sign the team's anti-doping charter. Because of the problems and not racing, he's started training earlier than usual.

“My head is completely free again," said Steegmans.

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