Two Tour stage wins and the points title enabled Robbie McEwen to negotiate from a position of strenPICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Tour de France points winner Robbie McEwen has confirmed that he will be following current Lotto team-mate Peter Van Petegem in signing for the new Omega Pharma-Lotto team next season. Negotiations were successfully concluded in the days after the Tour. The new team is basically a fusion of what are currently the Lotto-Domo and the Bodysol-Brustor teams. With effectively two big rosters of riders battling for half as many places next season, there has been plenty of sniping in the Belgian press from riders who are unlikely to make the cut, with McEwen one of the main targets because his status as a proven winner enables him to select some of the riders who will join him on the new team. Among those who will be with the Aussie next season are compatriot Nick Gates and Dutchman Aart Vierhouten. Another Australian, Henk Vogels, is also being linked with the new team, as are Landbouwkrediet's Tom Steels and MrBookmaker's Bjorn Leukemans.