Also in 2021, the Lotto Soudal leaders will race a Ridley with their own chosen colours.
- Year of establishment
- Sponsor since
Jochim Aerts - CEO & Owner Belgian Cycling Factory
How long has Ridley been a partner of Lotto Soudal?
“We have been a motivated partner for twelve years.”
Are the expectations being fulfilled?
“Recently, Ridley went through an intensive digital transformation, which has made a lot of things much more measurable. Of course, the impact of a victory or the presence of the team at important stage races, is something that is difficult to measure, but these things, together with the continuity, the constantly recurring stories about our bikes and the satisfaction of the pro cyclists, definitely contributes to the consumer’s buying behaviour. Of course, this is something we are really pleased with. Consumers also know that our bikes are put to the test by the pros on a daily basis, which proofs that the durability and quality are of a very high level. So in that area, the expectations are definitely being met. And this is of course an international fact.”
Does Ridley also learn something from the team?
“This is perhaps Ridley’s very first goal as a brand to work with a WorldTeam. Our R&D people work closely with the team and riders to keep improving the bikes and raising the bar a little higher each time. All those years in the WorldTour with Lotto Soudal are invaluable because of the immense amount of knowledge that has been gained.”
What makes Lotto Soudal unique for you?
“Lotto Soudal is first and foremost a Belgian team, and the link with our country remains something special for us. With Lotto Soudal, that connection to our country is maybe even more intense compared to any other Belgian team. The Lotto Soudal team expresses so much more than the symbolic ‘Flandrien feeling’, which is typical for the country in which cycling sport is really embedded in the culture. There is a family atmosphere within the team, but the professionalism is definitely as high as in any other team. However, at Lotto Soudal, riders can really develop themselves and we – as the supplier of bikes – can really think along with the team and work on the proper functioning and the performances of the riders.”
Up till now, what performances or events have brought you the most joy?
“There are definitely a lot of nice memories to choose from. Of course, there are victories, but that would be too easy. What I remember most of all, is that during every single stage, an entire company is really empathising during the final kilometres of a race. During a bunch sprint as well as a long breakaway, the final kilometres are really a moment of big tension for everyone in the company. Sometimes as quiet as a mouse, sometimes loud screams to encourage the riders. Of course, there is an immense feeling of joy when a Lotto Soudal rider takes the victory but in fact, those final fifteen kilometres are always magical, whatever the outcome may be. Or how a company can have one common goal…”