Development Six new talents added to Lotto Soudal Ladies and Development Team
Katrijn De Clercq and Sterre Vervloet will join the Lotto Soudal Ladies team in 2022. Branko Huys, Milan Paulus, Matthew Rice and Cédric Van Raemdonck will be added to the Lotto Soudal Development roster.
Katrijn De Clercq (19) from Oosterzele won bronze at the 2020 junior European road race Championships in Plouay. She also took two gold medals at the European track championships last year and became Belgian champion no less than 18 times in various track disciplines.
Sterre Vervloet (17, Vosselaar) became Belgian cyclocross champion as a novice. In her second season as a junior, she couldn’t participate in many cyclocross races due to Covid. Although, she immediately showed her talent on the road by becoming provincial time trial champion. One month ago, she also powered to bronze at the junior Belgian time trial championships.
“Katrijn and Sterre are both young talents and they will get the time to develop within our team”, says team manager Kurt Van de Wouwer. “That also applies to our U23 riders. I believe in the four riders we have already signed so far: two climbers, a sprinter and a time trialist.”
Branko Huys (20, Waasmunster) finished fourth at the Belgian U23 time trial championships in Koksijde last month, where Lotto Soudal rider Lennert Van Eetvelt took the title. As a novice, Branko already became national champion against the clock and has already been selected for two world championships.
Climber Milan Paulus (19, Sint-Truiden) finished inside the top ten of the junior world championships in Harrogate two years ago and is also strong at riding against the clock (Milan became 2nd on the Belgian TT championships that year). The past season, he showed himself during races where he competed together with pro riders.
Australian Matthew Rice (21, Canberra) is a pure sprinter. This season, he won the U23 national criterium championships. As an U23 rider he already won the Tour of America’s Dairylands and also took a stage win at the Chinese Tour of Quanzhou Bay (UCI 2.2).
Cédric Van Raemdonck (18, Sint-Niklaas) is still a junior, but will be stepping up to the U23 category at Lotto Soudal. His seventh place at La Classique des Alpes this season confirms his climbing talent which he has already shown at the Topcompetitie and Radjugendtour Oststeiermark.
“With these four riders, we already have some good reinforcements”, Kurt Van de Wouwer adds. “2020 and 2021 were very difficult scouting years due to the lack of youth races. Some of the guys didn’t race much but these four have already proven a thing or two. There is no doubt that their talent will develop even more within our team and I’m sure they will take another step forward. They can already motivate themselves by what riders like Harm Vanhoucke, Florian Vermeersch, Harry Sweeny, Brent Van Moer and many others have done.”