The Lotto Soudal Ladies Team will undergo some major changes in light of further professionalization, optimization and integration. The women’s team will become part of the vzw Belgian Cycling Talents, just like the Lotto Soudal Development Team has been already for several years. Kurt Van De Wouwer becomes sports manager with former Belgian champion Annelies Dom by his side as sports director.
“We want the women’s team, which was part of another non-profit organization (vzw) up till now, to be part of the whole,” says Lotto Soudal General Manager John Lelangue, “so that we can truly speak of one joint project: the WorldTour team, the Development Team and the Ladies Team. The women’s team will become part of the vzw Belgian Cycling Talents, the structure above the Development Team of Lotto Soudal which has been very successful throughout the past years.”
“Kurt Van De Wouwer and his staff can offer years of expertise. With the U23 riders they set numerous top results the previous years and also this season they are on a roll. Annelies Dom, who rode four years for the Lotto Soudal Ladies, and recently ended her career as an active rider, becomes sports director in the team. She knows the ins and outs of the women’s peloton and with her experience as a rider she can further optimise the women’s team.”
Main sponsors Lotto and Soudal and all partners want to further extend their commitment towards women’s cycling the upcoming years, also when it comes down to financial support.
“The National Lottery has been investing in the women’s team for sixteen years and together with Soudal they are committed to keep doing that the next years,” confirms John Lelangue. “It’s our ambition, together with all our partners, to further professionalise the Ladies Team. All elite riders in the team will receive a proper salary. The team will have a total of ten riders who will all get the same material as the riders of the WorldTour team. We want to make the integration complete on all levels. For the performance for example, the women can rely on the wide range of expertise within the team, among other thanks to our cooperation with Energy Lab.”
“The past years we already did efforts to further integrate the women and to offer them more professional guidance. Lotte Kopecky, Julie Van De Velde and Jesse Vandenbulcke joined the WorldTour training camp in Mallorca past winter. That integration and professionalisation can only improve now we let the women’s team become part of the whole,” according to John Lelangue.
“Lotto Soudal is setting steps forward when it comes to wages, material, guidance and support for the women’s team. Lotto, Soudal and all partners and the entire staff want to keep investing in women’s cycling which has been in an upward spiral the past years, an evolution that we can only applaud. As a team we are committed to keep supporting women’s cycling and to continue the professionalization. That’s why we will offer our Lotto Soudal Ladies all necessary support and opportunities.”