Jurgen Van den Broeck has started his preparation for the 2014 season. The Lotto-Belisol rider crashed in the final of the fifth stage of the Tour de France which ended his season. Van den Broeck faced surgery and a long recovery period to repair the damage to his knee. "Today finally the green light to start training towards 2014," Van den Broeck said on his Twitter page.
"After a short holiday, Jurgen has resumed training yesterday to prepare for the new season," Lotto-Belisol confirmed to Cyclingnews. It was not the first time the number 4 of the 2012 Tour de France was back on the bike. "He has been riding as part of his recovery schedule before, but training is now specifically meant to prepare for 2014."
Van den Broeck crashed in the fifth stage and suffered damage to the knee on which he landed. Because the knee was very swollen, Van den Broeck couldn't bend the joint and abandoned the Tour de France before the start of stage 6. He was diagnosed later with a partial tear of the posterior cruciate ligament, a partial tear of the medial ligament, an injury of the cartilage, a bone bruise and a bruise of the patellar tendon, which required surgery.
The Tour de France is likely to be a main objective of the Belgian rider again. "We will discuss his goals for next year in the coming weeks," the Lotto-Belisol press department added.
Lotto-Belisol presents a 27-rider roster for 2014. Next to Jurgen Van den Broeck, Bart de Clerq and Jelle Vanendert for the stage races, the Belgian team extended the contracts of André Greipel's sprint train Greg Henderson, Adam Hansen, Marcel Sieberg and Jurgen Roelandts. The German sprinter was responsible for 13 of the team's 28 wins in 2013 including stage 6 of the Tour de France.
The Belgian team adds nine riders to its roster. Pim Ligthart and Kris Boeckmans come from Vacansoleil-DCM, Maxime Monfort and Tony Gallopin from Radioshack-Leopard and Sander Armée from Topsport-Vlaanderen
The neo-pro's Boris Vallée (Color Code - Biowanze), Vegard Breen (Joker-Merida), Sean de Bie (Leopard-Trek) and Stig Broeckx from the Lotto-Belisol development team will also join the World Tour team.
Ten riders leave the team after this season. Dirk Bellemakers and Jurgen van de Walle retired. Fréderique Robert, who was the first this season to win a race for the team in Gabon, leaves for Wanty-Groupe Gobert. Gaetan Bille goes to continental team Verandas Willems and Spanish rider Vicente Reynes signed a contract with IAM Cycling.
Sander Cordeel, Francis de Greef, Brian Bulgaç, Joost van Leijen and Maarten Neyens haven't announced new teams yet.