Lloyd part of Lotto's charge on local turf

Delage leads Belgian team in Tour Down Under

Australian rider Matthew Lloyd will return to next year's Tour Down Under as part of Omega Pharma-Lotto's squad for the opening round of the ProTour, with experienced campaigner Mickael Delage leading the team.

Lloyd has always performed solidly in his home tour, vying for the overall honours in 2007 and competing as national road race champion in the 2008 edition. This year he finished the week-long event 16th on general classification.

"He [Lloyd] has performed consistently at the Santos Tour Down Under and I'd expect nothing less in 2010," said race director Mike Turtur.

Delage will be the team's designated leader however, and given his all-round ability the Frenchman stands a good chance of finishing high in the general classification.

He finished fourth overall in the 2008 edition of the Tour Down Under and this year took a podium spot in August's Clasica San Sebastian.

Rounding out the Omega Pharma-Lotto roster are Belgian riders Olivier Kaisen, Jurgen Roelandts and Jurgen Van Goolen, plus Sweden's Jonas Ljungblad and Dutchman Gerben Lowik.

Roelandts could be a surprise packet in the expected sprint finishes, the former Belgian national champion possessing a strong finishing kick which could be put to good use if he has the appropriate early-season form.

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