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Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) after his stage win
Belgian media say Tour de France contender has a four-year deal
Jurgen Van den Broeck has apparently chosen the Lotto team as his new squad for the next four years.
According to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, the gifted climber has committed to the new Belgian team after Omega Pharma and Lotto decided to part ways at the end of this season. Speculation about Philippe Gilbert's new team is still ongoing, with Quick Step, Lotto, Sky, BMC and Omega Pharma all possible destinations.
Van den Broeck reportedly agreed a four-year deal with the new team sponsored by the Belgian national lottery. The team is said to been in talks with Belgian bike manufacturer Ridley as an equipment provider, as well as Belgacom to back up the squad financially.
Van den Broeck's manager Jef Van den Bosch has neither confirmed nor denied the information. According to UCI rules, tranfers may not be officialised before August 1 of each season.
However the newspaper claims that Marc Sergeant will be the new team manager, with Marc Frison and Mario Aerts becoming directeur sportif. Marc Wauters is reported set to integrate the cycling school within the Lotto project and remain a part-time directuer sportif.
Since the annoucement of the split between Omega Pharma and Lotto a few weeks ago, rumours of rider signings and possible co-sponsorships have circulated in Belgium. With the best riders in the country available to sign for new teams - Tom Boonen is also out of a contract at the end if this year - the Belgian cycling scene is currently undergoing major changes.