The Omega Pharma-Lotto is under extreme pressure to garner a win. With the Belgium classics just around the corner, the team has nothing to show for this season yet.
Only two teams are left in the Pro Tour teams that have not won anything. Eukaltel-Euskadi joins the Belgian team on this unfortunate state. There are 39 Pro Tour and Professional Continental teams and out of them, there are 8 teams with no wins yet. BMC and Omega Pharma-Lotto are the only major classics team included in the group with zero victories.
Mostly, victory is just within the team’s reach. For instance, Jurgen Van den Broek nearly won the Ruta del Sol but only finished second on the two attempts. At the Volta ao Algarve, Mickael Delage and Jurgen Roelandts only came second on the stages too. The team leader of Omega Pharma-Lotto Philippe Gilbert also did his best to win the Milan-San Remo but he is a poor sprinter and only finished ninth.
Last year was a better season for Gilbert. He won four times in a row which included the Tour of Lombardy. The world title in Mendrisio went to Cadel Evans as well. Sadly, Evans moved to BMC.
Nico Matta, a former pro rider, commented on the team’s lack of wins. He feels that the reason for it was the team’s composition. Its riders do not have what it takes for a victory.
“They’ve got Philippe Gilbert, he’s a star, but he’s more for the hilly classics like Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Lombardy. To be honest I don’t think he’ll ever win a cobbled classic like the Tour of Flanders. Leif Hoste has gone close to winning the Ronde van Vlaanderen three times but I can’t see how he can ever win it either. It’s the same for the other riders. If Jurgen Van den Broeck, Kenny Dehaes and Jurgen Roelandts aren’t up there in the sprint at Milan-San Remo, I can’t imagine they will be up there in the cobbled classics.”
Omega Pharma-Lotto will be doing their best to change the tide on Wednesday at the Dwars door Vlaanderen.