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Last Updated: Monday, 30 June, 2003, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
Lotto-Domo
TEAM PROFILE
Robbie McEwen
Country: Belgium
Team boss: Marc Sergeant
Team leaders: Axel Merckx,
Best Tour: n/a
The former Lotto and Domo-Farm Frites outfit have gone from two teams into one after they merged as part of a money-saving measure.

A number of big names have gone as a result, among them Richard Virenque and Mario Aerts, but the newly branded Lotto-Domo team still have plenty to offer.

That said, there are weaknesses.

They arguably lack the strength in depth required for the Tour and the sprinters needed to lead in Robbie McEwen, who defends his green jersey for the team in 2003.

But McEwen seems to revel in his solo sprinting, catching onto the Telekom train of Erik Zabel and pouncing when the time is right.

Injury and illness have scuppered his early-season ambitions and, because of that, he has not enjoyed the same success he did 12 months ago.

Come July, though, the Australian is likely to be among the favourites to take away green once more.

Among other names to watch in the team are Axel Merckx, Peter van Petegem and Christophe Brandt.

Brandt quietly crept his way into the top 35 during last year's Tour.

Merckx, despite eventually having to make do with 28th, produced a series of courageous rides which won the plaudits of the peloton.

He will probably lead the team's hopes for a top-20 finish.

The form of the 33-year-old Van Petegem had a superb start to the season but is not part of the team for the Tour.

He has been one of the top performers in the World Cup this season, winning back-to-back events - the Tour of Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix.

Under the leadership of Marc Sergeant, the team should be able to put behind the early problems of their merger.





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