After seeing his Tour de France challenge cut short by a crash at the end of the opening week, Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) returned to put in a solid Vuelta a España performance and secure 8th overall.
The Belgian is continuing his comeback from the injuries he sustained in July at the Tour of Beijing, and told Cyclingnews that he is pleased with his condition as the season draws to a close.
“I recovered quickly and I was good again in the Vuelta, and I could finish my season with a pretty good condition,” he said. “I didn’t expect anything [before the Vuelta] because I didn’t know what to expect. I did good training but I didn’t know how my body would react after the big crash and the recovery.”
Van Den Broeck will join the new Lotto-Ridley set-up next season under the guidance of his present manager Marc Sergeant. Sprinter André Greipel is also on board, and Van Den Broeck is confident that the team will be successful in its bid for WorldTour status.
“I am confident otherwise I wouldn’t have signed for the team for four years,” he pointed out.
Although his current stable-mate Philippe Gilbert is bound for pastures new at BMC in 2012, Van Den Broeck denied that his status in his new squad would be any different to the role he enjoyed at Omega Pharma-Lotto.
“It doesn’t change anything for me. He was leader in his races and I was leader in my races so we didn’t have problems,” Van Den Broeck said, although he was rather more enigmatic when pressed on whether he would look to challenge Gilbert’s hegemony at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
“We will see next year,” he said quietly.