Next year, Lotto Soudal can welcome European time trial champion Victor Campenaerts (almost 26). Campenaerts is no stranger. In 2013, his last year as a rider in the U23 category, the Belgian rode for the U23 team of Lotto Belisol. That season Campenaerts won the U23 Belgian and European time trial title. In 2014 he turned pro at Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise. Last year he transferred to LottoNL – Jumbo and now he’s back in the Belgian Lotto Soudal team. He signed a two-year deal.

Marc Sergeant, sports manager Lotto Soudal: “Victor has made a lot of progress since he turned pro. The past years he invested a lot in time trialling and he can now benefit from all his work. Victor is also ready to win stage races of one week or less, in which a time trial has a big influence on GC, like the Tour of Britain where he finished fourth. Victor is very passionate. I am convinced he will be an asset to our team in a discipline for which we don’t have a top rider at the moment.”

Victor Campenaerts: “When I could become pro in 2014, Kurt Van de Wouwer (head sports department Lotto Soudal U23, LTS), advised me to go to Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise because I would get the time and space to grow within that team. It turned out to be the right choice and I am very grateful to Kurt for that good advice. The past years I could keep working on my time trial skills and now I can return to the team with results.”

“My contract with LottoNL – Jumbo ends this season and when Lotto Soudal showed its interest in me, I didn’t hesitate long. I am glad to race again for a Belgian team, although I am very grateful to LottoNL – Jumbo. At Lotto Soudal I will see some familiar faces, like Tiesj Benoot with whom I rode in the U23 team at the time. When I joined the team in 2013, Kurt Van de Wouwer immediately set the goal that I should become pro the next year. It was only the third year that I raced, so that surprised me, but I did become pro in 2014. In the beginning of the 2013 season I crashed hard and fractured my collarbone and radius, which meant that I couldn’t ride on my road bike for a long time, I could only ride my time trial bike. Pretty soon after my comeback I won the U23 Belgian Time Trial Championships and European Time Trial Championships. I had known before that time trialling was one of my strong points, but those performances confirmed it. My time at Lotto Belisol was the perfect preparation on a pro career.”

“Now I want to win time trials for Lotto Soudal as a pro and set results in overall classifications in stage races of one week like the BinckBank Tour, Belgium Tour and Tour of Britain, stage races where you can end high on GC if you ride a good time trial. And of course I aim for more time trial titles. I also hope to inspire the team in team time trials. With riders like Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst, Thomas De Gendt and Tim Wellens the team has high potential and I would like to share my knowledge with the team.”