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Sergeant rejects idea of Belgian team merger

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 08, 2010, 15:04 BST,
Updated:
June 08, 2010, 18:44 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Marc Sergeant.

Marc Sergeant.

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Financial problems would be only strong reason to merge

The “Belgian Super Team” proposed by Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere has fallen on deaf ears at rival team Omega Pharma-Lotto, although team manager Marc Sergeant says he sees the point of the suggestion.

"I understand the concept very well," Sergeant said in the Gazet van Antwerpen. "But then, the battle between the teams in Belgium is fun.

"The fans on the side of the road come out because of the rivalry between Quick Step and Omega Pharma-Lotto. Take away that fight and we eventually lose cycling fans."

Last month, Lefevere said that merging the two Belgian ProTour teams could be the future of Belgian cycling. "Imagine: Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert in one team. I dream of that now. These two could win all the Spring Classics," Lefevere said.

But exactly that would be the difficulty, Sergeant said. "Having only one team would create a problem. For who would then leader in the Tour of Flanders: Gilbert or Boonen?"

He admitted that there was one strong argument for the idea. “In Belgium it is indeed not easy for two teams to find the funds. If (sponsor) Quick-Step would stop after 2011, the team would stop if a new sponsor can't be found. In the past we even came close to a merger, especially if Quick Step had not surfaced. "

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