Ashleigh Moolman eyes two more years as AG Insurance – Soudal regret missed chance with Lotte Kopecky


In a busy period for team transfers, Pat Lefevere, who plays a management role in the AG Insurance-Soudal women’s team, shared insights with Het Nieuwsblad about the team’s strategic direction and recent developments.

Firstly, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio has expressed interest in extending her career for an additional two years. “A positive point there: Ashleigh Moolman[-Pasio] would like to continue for another two years,” said Lefevere. Originally planning to retire in 2022, Moolman postponed her plans to sign a two-year deal with the team. Now, she looks to continue until 2026. Lefevere described Moolman-Pasio as an ideal team leader, saying, “Ashleigh is an ideal leader for our team. She is still our best rider, an absolute professional, and someone whom the rest of the team look up to immensely.”

However, Lefevere noted a slight issue with alignment since their primary sponsor, AG Insurance, operates solely within the Belgian market without international interests. “The only mismatch, so to speak, is the fact that with AG Insurance, we have a Belgian main sponsor active in the Belgian market, without foreign interests. As a result, Ashleigh, as our team leader, does not have the right nationality.”


Reflecting on potential Belgian leaders, the name that stands out is Lotte Kopecky. Lefevere pondered the missed opportunities, stating, “As a potential Belgian team leader, there is only one name: Lotte Kopecky. It is a story where I occasionally ask myself: ‘What if?'” He also mentioned that Mike Sinyard, CEO of Specialized, had previously suggested integrating the Boels-Dolmans women’s team into their structure. However, Danny Stam did not agree with the idea at the time, which was understandable from his perspective. That would’ve been a few years ago back before SD Worx got on board and the Boel Dolmans team were looking for a new sponsor.

Lefevere expressed regret over not pushing hard enough to secure Kopecky when AG Insurance became their main sponsor in 2022. “It is very unfortunate: when AG Insurance came on board as the main sponsor in 2022, we did not push hard enough for Lotte.” He hinted at budget misunderstandings without disclosing full details, saying, “There was a misunderstanding about the budgetary space, about which I cannot reveal everything, but let’s just say we missed a unique opportunity.” Kopecky is now committed to SD Worx until the end of 2028, and Lefevere acknowledged that they have definitively missed their chance.

Despite these setbacks, the focus remains on strengthening the team and exploring new talents, with Moolman-Pasio potentially leading the squad for a few more years.