The Omega Pharma-Lotto team has confirmed that Jurgen Van den Broeck will lead the Belgian squad at the Vuelta a España, as Philippe Gilbert and Andre Greipel opt for lighter race programmes before the world championships in Copenhagen.
Van den Broeck showed his grand tour credentials by finishing fifth in the Tour de France last year but crashed out of the this year’s Tour on stage nine to Saint Flour when rain and twisting roads also left Alexandre Vinokourov and Dave Zabriskie with nasty injuries.
Van den Broeck wasvdiagnosed with a collapsed lung, three broken ribs and a broken shoulder blade but has recovered from his injuries. He is currently training at altitude in the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern Spain.
Also in the Omega Pharma-Lotto team for the Vuelta are Jan Bakelants, Francis De Greef, Australia’s Adam Hansen, Olivier Kaisen, Sebastian Lang and Jurgen Van de Walle. The team will be directed by Dirk De Wolf and Jean-Pierre Heynderickx.
Philippe Gilbert and Andre Greipel will not ride the Vuelta. Both have opted for alternative race programmes and are currently riding the Eneco Tour, were Greipel has won the opening two road stages.
“I want to be on form for Hamburg (on Sunday August 21) in front of my fans and I also hope to be up there at the world championships,” Greipel said on Wednesday.