Discovery Channel team manager Dirk Demol is happy with the performances of his young charges at the recently-completed Tour de Romandie. With Leif Hoste taking second and Jurgen Van den Broeck ninth in the final time trial, the experienced Belgian DS said to sportsworld. be, "Leif has the capacity to be one of the best [time triallers] in the world...and watch for Jurgen when he's a year older and stronger."
"He [Hoste] had neglected that [time trialling] a little bit," said Demol. "His performances against the clock earlier this year (a win in De Panne, second in Tirreno-Adriatico and Romandie) prove that he's found that aspect of his riding again. That's why he's making of the world championships an important target."
"Leif probably won't ride the Tour, and most likely won't ride the Vuelta either, unless he really wants to," continued Demol. "He can prepare for the world championships perfectly with a ride in the Eneco Tour and the Tour of Poland," he added.
Van den Broeck, who made quite an impact in Romandie, will make his grand tour debut in the Vuelta a Espana, where the team (and its previous incarnation as US Postal) has enjoyed success through the likes of Roberto Heras, Floyd Landis and Tom Danielson. "Jurgen is teh type of guy that we constantly have to slow down," said Demol. "In the future, that will pay dividends, and he realises this also."
Van den Broeck pulled up slightly worse for wear after Sunday's time trial in Lausanne, but Demol said that the young Belgian is feeling ok, and is looking forward to the Tour of Belgium, where the team hope he can gain more valuable experience.