Omega Pharma-QuickStep may line up for tomorrow’s Giro di Lombardia without a definitive leader, with Sport Director Davide Bramati claiming that every rider will be given the chance of racing for a result.
The Belgian squad line up with Sylvain Chavanel and Serge Pauwels in their ranks but after a long season Bramati is perhaps realistic in his expectations placed upon his riders as the take on one of the final WorlTour races of 2013.
"The route for the Lombardia is difficult,” Davide Bramati said.
"After just 50 kilometers the athletes will take on the long climb at Val Cava which will be highly selective. The walls at Muro di Sormano and the Ghisallo will further sift out the best riders before the final. Also, bad weather and rain could be a factor like they were last year. We're lining up at the starting line with a good squad in which everyone will get the chance to play their own hands.
Chavanel turned down a chance to ride the Worlds road race, focussing on the time trial instead. He could only place 22nd on the day, finishing close to four minutes down on winner, and trade teammate, Tony Martin. Chavanel will be competing in one of his final races for the team having signed a contract for IAM Cycling for 2014. However, Pauwels rode strongly in the men’s road race, featuring as one of Philippe Gilbert’s most important teammates.
“We have motivated athletes like Pieter Serry and Serge Pauwels, the latter who had a great World Championship last week, and experienced riders like Sylvain Chavanel, Peter Velits and Dries Devenyns, all of them in one of the last races with our jersey. The squad is completed by two young athletes, Gianluca Brambilla and Michal Kwiatkowski."
"We are going to try to stay ahead with our men and arrive at the base of the Ghisallo with a good number of athletes to try to figure as contenders in the final."