With an eye to the upcoming Tour de France, Mike Tomalaris spots a rider on the Silence-Lotto team who has the engine to match team leader, Cadel Evans.
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

It's rare for modern-day pro-cyclist to compete in successive Grand Tours, particularly if they have performed beyond expectations and challenged for top honours on the General Classification.
Take Silence-Lotto's Belgian discovery Jurgen Van Den Broeck and his outstanding performance at the Giro.

Here is a 25-year-old who has ridden out of his skin.

Podcast: video highlights of every stage of the 2008 Giro d'Italia

He sits in ninth place on the overall standings in his first Grand Tour.

Van den Broeck's only other major career achievement was being crowned under 23 world time trial champion in 2001.
What predicament has he brought to team directors who are in the process of selecting a squad that will revolve around guiding Cadel Evans to victory at the Tour de France?
Surely he has rocketed into calculations for selection in the nine-man TdF team.
It's a luxury Silence-Lotto never thought they would've been in before the Giro and I'm sure they now must be tempted to take their most improved rider to the big race in July.
But how much of an ask is it for someone as inexperienced as Van Den Broeck to back-up and compete in the toughest race of them all six weeks after completing the biggest assignment of his life?
I wonder if Evans himself will have the final say on whether he gets a start?
After all as a Tour favourite, Evans has been outspoken at the lack of team depth and support he was given through the mountain stages before finishing runner-up at last year's Tour.
You may remember Chris Horner was the only rider Evans could rely on for support through the high country.
To say he was disappointed with team management for not re-signing the American is an understatement.
Thankfully for Evans the appointment of Ukraine mountain specialist Yaroslav Popoyvich at the beginning of 2008 was seen as a God-send.
Van Den Broeck would certainly add some extra steel to a rider and a team bent on success in France?
Seems to me some pretty hard decisions are to be made between now and the Tour start in Brittany on July 5.