Silence - Lotto ready for Dwars door Vlaanderen

Robbie McEwen (Silence-Lotto)

Robbie McEwen (Silence-Lotto) (Image credit: Shane Goss)

Belgian pair Bert Roesems and Glenn D'Hollander have both had to forfeit their places on the Silence-Lotto team for the upcoming Dwars door Vlaanderen. They will be replaced by Nick Gates and Wim Vansevenant, according to

Sports director Hendrik Redant is counting on Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen and Jurgen Roelandts to fill the void left by the two Belgians. "We are hoping to play a role in the race on Wednesday," said Redant. "I think that with Roelandts and McEwen we have a chance of it coming to a sprint.

"It could become a strange race," he added. "The weather conditions will definitely play a major role."

For Roesems, his non-selection effectively ends his Spring Classics season before it started. "We have given him several opportunities as the past few days in Nokere and in the Ronde van het Groene Hart, but we can't look past the fact that Bert has struggled with his form since he fractured his pelvis in the Tour of Spain last year," team manager Marc Sergeant explained.

"It does not make any sense to think that we still will be able to count on him for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix," he added. "Two races where, last year, he proved invaluable for the team. We must therefore look to other goals for him this season."

36 year-old Roesems has been with the Lotto squad since 2005, and has recorded 20 victories during a professional career that dates back to 1996. In 2007 he won the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque's mountains classification and is a former Belgian Individual Time Trial champion.

"Through races such as Wasmuel and Schoten we will try and prepare him for the Four Days of Dunkirk, Tour of Belgium and other races," added Sergeant. "It is a shame, but there is not much else which we can do."

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