Lotto Belisol has revealed its “almost definitive” line-up for the Giro d'Italia, without star sprinter Andre Griepel. Gianni Meersman, who has made the Giro one of his main goals this season, must first overcome knee problems, while Lars Bak will be making his return to racing after breaking his hand at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Team manager Bill Oliver disclosed the “almost definitive” line-up to velo-club.net. Barring any “last minutes changes,” the Belgian team will consist of Lars Ytting Bak, Gaetan Bille, Brian Bulgac, Bart DeClerc, Francis DeGreef, Adam Hansen, Olivier Kaisen, Gianni Meersman and Dennis Vanendert. The two reserves are Kenny Dehaes and Gert Dockx.
Meersman's most recent race was the Amstel Gold Race. He then decided not to ride Fleche Wallonne or Liege-Bastogne-Liege, due to knee pain, which he hoped to overcome by the time the Giro starts in Denmark on May 5.
Danish rider Bak is especially pleased to be nominated, and not just because he is coming back from the crash-related injuries. “After he was injured I immediately thought of the possibility that he could ride the Giro. When I told him about the idea, he was very happy because he could ride at home,” sport director Marc Sergeant told sporten.tv2.dk.