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Omega Pharma-Lotto looking to strengthen team for 2011

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André Greipel (Team HTC - Columbia) celebrates his victory in Lagos.

André Greipel (Team HTC - Columbia) celebrates his victory in Lagos. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Frederik Willems (Liquigas - Doimo)

Frederik Willems (Liquigas - Doimo) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Omega Pharma-Lotto is the only ProTour team without a victory so far this season, and the team is already looking at some new signings for the coming year. According to the Gazet van Antwerpen, it is interested in signing Andre Greipel and Frederik Willems.

Lotto lost its biggest name rider, World Champion Cadel Evans, to BMC Racing Team this year. Captain Philippe Gilbert finished last year with a series of top wins, but did not bring in a win until the Giro d'Italia.

Greipel, 27, has six wins this season, including the overall title in the Tour Down Under. His contract with HTC-Columbia expires the end of this season, and in light of recent critical comments from teammate Mark Cavendish, the Belgium media deem it possible that Greipel will look for a new team. The German is one of the top sprinters, a position which at Omega Pharma-Lotto has been empty since Robbie McEwen left the team after the 2008 season.

The other rider of interest is 30-year-old Belgian Frederik Willems, who has been with Liquigas since 2007. While he has not had any wins this season, he won the Driedaagse van De Panne in 2009 and the Etoile de Besseges in 2006. Team Katusha is also said to be interested in Willems.