Omega Pharma – Lotto boss Marc Sargeant will give younger members of his Belgian squad the opportunity to shine at this month's Giro d'Italia. Briton Adam Blythe, Dutchman Michiel Elijzen and Belgian Jan Bakelants have been confirmed as part of the nine-man Giro team and will all make their Grand Tour debut when the race begins in Amsterdam on Saturday, May 8.
Bakelants has been selected in order to give the 24-year-old an opportunity to test his future potential as a general classification rider. The winner of the Tour de l'Avenir in 2008, Bakelants will race alongside Daniel Moreno, who will be the team's main hope for a high overall finish.
Omega Pharma-Lotto have confirmed that the Spaniard will do the Giro-Tour de France double, rather than competing in his home Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España. Moreno will be supported in Italy by Australian Matthew Lloyd and Francis De Greef, who will aim to win a mountain stage in his third participation at the event.
After a strong performance in the spring Classics, Adam Blythe will be given the opportunity to race the Giro in his first full season as a ProTour rider. The 20-year-old Briton will be joined by compatriot Charlie Wegelius. Experienced riders Olivier Kaisen and Sebastian Lang will also be on hand to bolster the team.
Dutchman Elijzen, 27, is the eldest of the debutants. The time trial specialist will be targeting the Giro's 8.4 kilometre prologue on home soil.
Omega Pharma-Lotto for the 2010 Giro d'Italia: Jan Bakelants, Adam Blythe, Francis De Greef, Michiel Elijzen, Olivier Kaisen, Sebastian Lang, Matthew Lloyd, Daniel Moreno and Charlie Wegelius.