Thursday, February 22, 2024

A Good Start for the Team


Dear VeloVeritas readers,

Tables have turned in Omega Pharma Lotto: we have had some success already in the season.

Three wins is nice for the team at this early stage in the season – two with Phil [Gilbert, the 1st Stage of the Volta ao Algarve and the recent Montepaschi Strade Bianche] and one with André: [Greipel, Stage 4 of the Volta ao Algarve].

André: also bagged third in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne last week, and so: the team’s moral is much better than last year at this time.

We always heard from journalists and team staff that in 2010 Omega Pharma Lotto only got their second win in mid-May!

That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

The pressure from the sports directors is off a bit – they’re a little more relaxed, and that makes a huge difference to us.

Adam Hansen
This pic was taken during the “coffee ride” we did after the Montepaschi Strade Bianche. We were on the TT bikes checking out the course of the Team Time Trial for Tirreno-Adriatico.

What a race the Montepaschi Strade Bianche was.

Adam Hansen
The strade bianchi. Photo:©Bettini

We had a nice meeting in the morning with our Sports Director, Damiani Roberto, who had a plan…

We agreed in the meeting that we were all going to work for Phil – for sure, he was the fav going into the race.

Then Damiani said that I could have a chance too – ‘nice’ I thought, as I really enjoy this race.

So the plan was for me to get into the main break, and then for Phil to be at the head for the final.

As soon as the race started, there were attacks everywhere, and it wasn’t so easy to be in the break, but on the first section of the white roads the break went, and Sibi [Marcel Sieberg] from our team was in there.

He didn’t last long before he got a flat, and had to putout some extra watts just to keep up – we turned a corner and there he was, standing at the side of the road clapping like a fan, yelling at us to ‘go go go!’ … Funnny.

After this our whole team (bar myself and Phil) went to the front to pull the break back, they worked hard and fast and brought it down to 24 seconds, at which point I was told by André: to jump across.

Adam Hansen
I’m giving it loads here to stay away as long as possible. Photo:©Bettini

‘Plan A’ from Damiani Roberto was complete.

130km later we were eaten by the bunch and it was Phil’s turn to have a go – and have a go he did, winning the race with a little ease!

Adam Hansen
Phil wins on the white roads in Tuscany. Photo:©Fotoreporter Sirotti

As I write this we are all on the super nice Omega Pharma Lotto bus, heading to look at the final of Milan-San Remo.

It’s a 170km drive from our hotel to where we will get out the bus and onto our Canyons to recce the last 130km of the race

Then it’s a 300km ride back (in the bus). Nice.

M-SR is our first big target of the season, so we’re doing everything we can to make it a success… it should be an interesting day… Phil or André?

‘Til next time, Adam

Adam Hansen
After battling the white roads, we felt we deserved this!