Soudal new name sponsor from 2015 on next to Lotto
For over thirty years Lotto is inextricably linked to cycling, as a popular sport and top sport. This continuous interest and support is founded on a passion for cycling sport and a belief in the power of joining people through cycling. Our Lotto players aren't only clients, they are the best fans as well. The future of the Lotto Cycling Project, the top team, the ladies team and U23 team are guaranteed on a long-term basis thanks to the support of structural partners. Jannie Haek, CEO National Lottery: "We have always wanted to open doors for cycling, in a generous way and with reliable partners. To fulfill dreams you need a team that shares the same passion and the same ambitions."
With the commitment of Soudal, which becomes a main sponsor, the cycling team Lotto Soudal can further work on its ambition to play a leading role on the highest WorldTour level with a core of Belgian riders, completed with international talents. Lotto Soudal clearly has the ambition to support young Belgian talent and women's cycling as well.
Jannie Haek, CEO National Lottery: "The Lotto Cycling Project is and will remain a locally anchored initiative of which the international fame and good reputation is known. We absolutely want to continue this way for the next six years. It pleases me a lot to realize that with a solid, familiar and ambitious team, also behind the scenes."
Marc Sergeant, general manager: "The Belgian cycling project has to stay the dream of each young Belgian rider, become and be a standard in international cycling. And the pinnacle of all efforts of cycling-loving Belgium. We have to show that the Belgian cycling project has its place in the WorldTour. Preferably with Belgian partners who want to present themselves internationally."
Roger Malevé, chairman Lotto Sports Organisation: "The agreement with Soudal brings an important continuity to the team. Lotto and Soudal engage themselves for six years, that's rather exceptional in this sector. The cycling team as "billboard on wheels" makes it possible for the new partner Soudal to position its name and company internationally. Fighting together for a spot on the international level is our common spirit."
Marc Frederix, Marketing director National Lottery: "Cycling reinforces the emotional bond between the brand Lotto and its players. Cycling has the same values as Lotto: popular, pleasant, Belgian, accessible, dynamic, it's about winning - every week again, and it unites people. The cycling team bridges between the international cycling circus and the passionate fans. That way the Lotto team exists, because of the people and for the people. The team bridges between Belgian talent and the world top, and that way it realizes the dream of many young riders and their fans. The Lotto Cycling project creates a big social and sportive added value."
Nicolas Thiel, general director Belisol: "We look back on the past three years with some great Lotto Belisol highlights, like the Tour de France 2012 with three stage wins of Greipel and a fourth place for Van den Broeck. Belisol wants to use the budget that becomes available after quitting as a name sponsor of the WorldTour team, to further develop the brand. We are pleased that - now we can pass the torch as name sponsor to Soudal - the continuity of this beautiful team is guaranteed and we deliberate about our future in sport sponsoring."
Jochim Aerts, CEO Ridley: "A long-term certainty is very important for a team, riders and the organization, but also for Ridley. This way our R&D staff can check new developments with the riders and the entire technical department of the team on a long-term basis. This will lead to some new pioneering bikes of Ridley."
Vic Swerts, founder and Chairman of Soudal: "Soudal is active globally in more than 130 countries, with branches in 44 countries covering all continents. Cycling too has become a global sport and is hugely popular in many countries in which Soudal operates. In addition, the Belgian identity as a seal of quality is paramount for Soudal, Lotto and the cycling team. The values and ideals behind achieving consistently better results through hard work, perseverance, a long-term vision and focus also stand in perfect harmony. We engage us until 2020 at least to support the ambitious cycling project and will be visible on the team jerseys as main sponsor."
The first race as Belgian champion and Jens Debusschere won it! The Lotto Belisol rider was the fastest in the opening stage of the Tour de Wallonie. He beat Gianni Meersman and Juan José Lobato. Debusschere is also the first leader and is first in the points classification.
The first stage from Frasnes-lez-Anvaing to Tournai consisted of two big laps with these three hills: Col de la Croix Jubaru, Mont de l'Enclus and Côte des Monts Alban. That last one lay at just over twenty kilometers from the finish. Three riders chose for the break of the day: Julien Stassen, Zico Waeytens and Thomas Wertz. They were caught before the last climb, after Lotto Belisol had controlled the bunch. Jens Debusschere sprinted the fastest and successfully rounded off the teamwork.
Jens Debusschere: "It's unbelievable, I just started to realize I had won the Belgian championship and now I immediately win my first race in this jersey. I'm very happy I could confirm. It was already very special to train with the jersey, so that was definitely the case to ride in the peloton with it. You get recognized everywhere. That's really nice."
"We were the first team that started the chase and took control of the race. We didn't get much support. I'm satisfied I could successfully round off the work of the team. The guys really did their best. Just before the final kilometer Kris Boeckmans went to the front. Afterwards there was a sharp corner, so it was important to be well positioned. The train of Trek got in the wheel of Kris and I set myself in the wheel of Giacomo Nizzolo. That way I was in fifth position at the last corner, that was perfect. Omega Pharma - Quick-Step then was faster than Trek, so I jumped in the wheel of Gianni Meersman and could pass him. We'll see if there will be another bunch sprint tomorrow, with five hills in the last 75 kilometers. It will be difficult to control the race with one team."
On the penultimate day of this Tour the riders had to cover a time trial of 54 kilometers between Bergerac and Périgueux. World champion Tony Martin took the win. He was 1'39" faster than Tom Dumoulin, Jan Barta was 1'47" slower than the German. Jurgen Van den Broeck could maintain his position and is still thirteenth in GC. Yellow jersey Vincenzo Nibali has an even bigger lead after today. Jean-Christophe Péraud passed his fellow countryman in GC and is now second.
In July we provide you with four new wallpapers! From now on you can download the last one.
Go to our multimedia page.
Yesterday the Tour caravan stopped in Carcassonne for the second rest day. That doesn't mean there wasn't any activity in the team hotels, on the contrary. Lotto Belisol soigneur Kurt Wouters tells about his schedule.
9:30 - 13:00
In July we provide you with four new wallpapers! From now on you can download the third one.
Go to our multimedia page.