Algemeen Alec Segaert signs first pro contract at Lotto Dstny
European U23 time trial champion Alec Segaert will turn pro with Lotto Dstny. The team and Alec Segaert together have mapped out a route for the talent to develop under the best conditions. A three-year contract was signed, whereby he will compete for Lotto Dstny’s continental Development Team until mid 2024, after which he will step up to the pros until at least the end of 2025.
The 19-year-old Alec Segaert continued his promising career this season at the Lotto Soudal Development Team and with the support of the Lotto Cycling Talent Project, supported by Lotto. He won the Hel van Voerendaal and came in 4th in the GC of the Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux. But most of all, he became U23 Belgian time trial champion and renewed his European title in the same discipline. “Alec Segaert has made quite the entrance at the U23 category”, comments Lotto Soudal Development Team manager Kurt Van de Wouwer. “His results, but also his style of racing and working ethics promise a great future in both time trials and classics. We have started talking with him as soon as possible to map out a trajectory for him to develop himself in the best possible way. We are very happy with this long-term plan.”
Alec Segaert is enthusiastic about the future. “This season I have noticed how well this team suits me: the working environment, but also the ambition to keep improving. At one side, there is the proven track record of talents coming through the ranks of the own Development Team: Tim Wellens, Florian Vermeersch, Arnaud De Lie and many more. But on the other side the team keeps developing: for example in the performance department or when it comes to equipment. Ridley’s new time trial bike has definitely played a role in my decision.”
Images: Marleen Paepen
John Lelangue, CEO at Lotto Soudal, sees in Alec Segaert’s continued stay a confirmation that the team has chosen the right path. “The last couple of years we have been building a very nice project. Of course, not all goes well and there may be criticism from the outside world. But the results of this season and the fact that big talents like Alec Segaert, but also Arnaud De Lie, Florian Vermeersch or Lennert Van Eetvelt see their future with our team, shows to me that we are moving in the right direction. For talents like them, the performance department, the racing program and the equipment are crucial.”
The trajectory that was chosen for Alec Segaert, having him compete for the Development Team for one year and a half first and stepping up to the pros afterwards, was decided in close consultation. “It would be too soon to send him to WorldTour races already”, explains John Lelangue. “Because our Development Team steps up to continental level next year, we are able to line-up riders of that team also in ProSeries and .1 races with the WorldTour team. That is ideal to get Alec Segaert used to the professional level, but at the same time let him pursue his goals in the U23 category.”
Alec Segaert underlines: “In this way, I can make my way up to the pros very smoothly. I am looking forward to working together with riders like Florian Vermeersch or Victor Campenaerts, who can teach me a lot. But it is important not to skip any steps. I am convinced that both the team and me will benefit a lot from this plan.”