Eight new riders join Lotto Soudal U23 in 2019
Kurt Van de Wouwer presents the new riders that join the team in 2019
For the third consecutive weekend, Lotto Soudal U23 has managed to win a race. This time, it was Laurens Huys’ turn to cheer at the interclub race in Dottignies. He finished solo after he had escaped from a large breakaway together with his teammate Sébastien Grignard. In the Dorpenomloop in Rucphen, as well as in Paris-Troyes, the team achieved a good result. Rune Herregodts ended in second place in the Netherlands, while Geenen Thijssen sprinted to the fifth place in France.
GP Gadenne in Dottignies
The top moment of the weekend for Lotto Soudal U23 took place in Dottignies during the inaugural Grand Prix Gadenne. Laurens Huys successfully finished off a solo breakaway at the interclub race. The team was riding a very attentively and had perfect control over the race. When twenty five riders escaped the peloton, Lotto Soudal had no less than five riders present in the front. This breakaway appeared to be decisive, although the front group did not remain together, since Laurens Huys and Sébastien Grignard placed a duo attack. In the final lap, Laurens Huys shook off his teammate and he finished solo with a small advantage over the chasing group, in which Loran Cassaert and Sébastien Grignard sprinted to a top ten spot.
Third consecutive weekend with a victory for Lotto Soudal U23
On Sunday, Rune Herregodts was close to a second victory for Lotto Soudal U23, but he stranded in second place after a sprint with his breakaway companion, Mikkel Bjerg. Bjerg was part of an early break with David Boucher. When the advantage of the duo dropped, Rune Herregodts dared to make the jump to the front. Shortly after Rune joined the duo, Boucher was unable to keep up with them. Although Herregodts and Bjerg rode the complete finale of the race together, they still managed to keep in front of the chasing peloton. The two fatigued riders started the sprint from early on and the reigning world champion time trial U23 proved to be the strongest. In the sprint of the peloton, Alex Colman and Jacob Vaughan ended in sixth and ninth place.
The sixtieth edition of Paris-Troyes started of traditionally. A small group of riders escaped the peloton and took a two-minute advantage. On the local laps, halfway on the route, the lead started to diminish quickly and the group was caught eventually. This led to several new attempts, including one by Harm Vanhoucke, but neither one was successful. In the end, a relatively small peloton headed to Troyes for a bunch sprint. Professional cyclist, Adrien Petit was the fastest; Gerben Thijssen proves his sprinting talent once again by finishing in a nice fifth place.