Lotto Soudal U23: Season's review
With Kurt Van de Wouwer
Lotto Soudal U23 slims down from 25 to 22 riders in 2019. Harm Vanhoucke already joined Lotto Soudal’s WorldTour team halfway through last season. As was announced earlier, he will be accompanied by Stan Dewulf. Next to them, Alfdan De Decker (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) and Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise) will turn professional on January 1st. Seven other riders will leave the team: Jonas Castrique, Alex Colman, Stijn Daemen, Mitch Groot, Steff Hermans, Ward Jaspers and Jacob Vaughan. They will be succeeded by eight new riders, who will compete for Lotto Soudal U23 next season.
Kurt Van de Wouwer, head of the sports department at Lotto Soudal U23: “Our team will consist of 22 riders in 2019, eight of which are newcomers. Ilan Van Wilder might be the biggest name to join the team. He was second in the European Championships time trialling in the junior category, behind Remco Evenepoel. He finished the road race also in fourth place. Although he rode in the shadow of Evenepoel, just as every other junior cyclist, he is still one of the best junior riders in the world. Thibaut Ponsaerts will also join the team from the junior category, even though he was very unlucky last season. Three other juniors will also join: Jarne Van de Paar, Steven Pattyn and Henri Vandenabeele. Van de Paar has proven to be a real winner, as he earned ten victories last season. Pattyn and Vandenabeele were both part of the Belgian national team that competed in the World Championships. Next to these four riders, we welcome three current U23 riders as well: Viktor Verschaeve, Florian Vermeersch and Swiss rider Johan Jacobs. Verschaeve had a strong season last year and competed in the U23 road race in the World Championships in Innsbruck. Vermeersch and Jacobs will both shift their focus from cyclo-cross to road racing,
Composition Lotto Soudal U23 2019:
Ruben Apers, Loran Cassaert, Sander De Pestel, Kobe Goossens, Sébastien Grignard, Rune Herregodts, Laurens Huys, Johan Jacobs, Arne Marit, Julian Mertens, Steven Pattyn, Thibaut Ponsaerts, Gerben Thijssen, Henri Vandenabeele, Jarne Van de Paar, Maxim Van Gils, Ward Vanhoof, Brent Van Moer, Ilan Van Wilder, Thomas Vereecken, Florian Vermeersch and Viktor Verschaeve.