Sports manager Marc Sergeant about the Tour de France selection
Discover the eight Lotto Soudal riders for the Tour de France!
The 28-year-old Brit Adam Blythe will join Lotto Soudal again in 2019, eight years after he started his international cycling career at the Belgian team. For the past two seasons, the Brit rode for the procontinental team Aqua Blue Sport and in 2015 also for Mitchelton – SCOTT, where he already worked closely with Lotto Soudal’s new sprinter Caleb Ewan. Adam Blythe is very excited to be part of the WorldTour team again and wants to help his former teammate in winning as many races as possible. He has signed a one-year contract.
Adam Blythe: “At the age of twenty, I did an internship at Lotto Soudal – Omega Pharma - Lotto back then, and was able to join the WorldTour team afterwards. I’m really excited to return to the Belgian team and it’s definitely a real privilege to be racing for this renowned cycling team once again!”
“I’m looking forward to helping Caleb Ewan in winning as many races as possible. Bringing Caleb in the best position to sprint, will be my main role coming season. We already rode together at Mitchelton-SCOTT, so I know him quite well. I hope to achieve new successes with him and believe we have a solid team to do so in 2019. Besides my role in Ewan’s lead-out, Lotto Soudal can also count on my support in the Classics. Even though I didn’t ride a complete Classics season for the last two years, I did ride those races many times before during my time at the other WorldTour teams. Next season will be my ninth year as a professional cyclist and through the years, I was able to gain a lot of experience - also in the Classics.”
“Winning the Prudential RideLondon Classic is one of my biggest achievements so far. Not only because of its importance on the cycling calendar, but also because of the way I won that day. If you told anyone ahead of the race that I would be the first to cross the line at the end, I think no one would’ve believed it. We were with five of us in the final breakaway, including big names like Philippe Gilbert, Ben Swift and Julian Alaphilippe. My strong final sprint enabled me to cross the line just ahead of Swift. So I won closely, but I won. And of course, beating Mark Cavendish in the sprint and taking the national title in 2016 is also one of the victories I’m most proud of. Wearing the jersey of your nation for an entire year is always very special and worth cherishing.”
I rode for several other teams in the past, but I think Lotto Soudal has been the best team for me as a rider.
“It’s hard to describe myself as a specific type of rider as I’m quite a good all-rounder. I see myself as a clever cyclist. I save my energy wisely, so I still can push myself to the next level on the moments that really matter. Whether that is for the team or for myself. If I’ll get the opportunity to take my chance and add another victory to my list of achievements, I’ll of course take that opportunity with both hands. Yet, the main focus will be on Ewan and on helping him and the other leaders in the team win as many races as possible.”
“I love the fact that Belgians are really passionate about cycling. You could compare Belgian cycling to what soccer means in the UK, it’s really big. Though, the last years cycling did win in popularity in Great Britain thanks to the successes on the track as well as the performances on the road by riders like Geraint Thomas. Each year, new events are added to the cycling calendar. There’s the Tour of Britain, the Tour of Yorkshire, the Prudential RideLondon Classic,… Next year will be another huge step for Britain as a cycling nation as the country hosts the World Championships. So, I hope cycling will one day be just as big in Britain as it is today in Belgium.”
“Through the years, I was able to win a few races in Belgium, like the Circuit Franco-Belge and, more recently, the Elfstedenronde. My victory of the Franco-Belge dates back to my time at Omega Pharma - Lotto so it’s a good memory. I really enjoy racing in Belgium as the atmosphere and the cheering crowds alongside the road are just incredible. So, I’m very excited to return to Lotto Soudal and it’s definitely the next step forward for me. I rode for several other teams in the past, but I think Lotto Soudal has been the best team for me as a rider. The team suited me back in 2010 and 2011 like I know it will suit me in 2019. I’m sure we can work well together again and achieve some nice results!”