Lotto-Dstny skips Giro d’Italia again, Arnaud De Lie set to make Tour de France debut in 2024

Belgian Arnaud De Lie of Lotto-Dstny wins the one day cycling race 'Tour of Leuven - Memorial Jef Scherens' in Leuven, Tuesday 15 August 2023. BELGA PHOTO BERT GOYVAERTS (Photo by BERT GOYVAERTS / BELGA MAG / Belga via AFP) (Photo by BERT GOYVAERTS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Lotto-Dstny has confirmed that it will not participate in the 2024 Giro d’Italia, similar to its decision in the 2023 season. The Belgian ProTeam, has the freedom to opt out of World Tour races like the Giro, has chosen to focus on the spring classics and target one-day races during the Giro period. This strategy implies that 21-year-old Arnaud De Lie is likely to make his Tour de France debut next year.

As a ProTeam, Lotto-Dstny, which was relegated last year and is set to continue at that level until at least the end of next year, has the option to decline participation in World Tour races, including the Giro. This decision marks the team’s second consecutive year of opting out of the Italian tour.

Last year, Lotto-Dstny chose not to participate in the Giro, considering its squad not sufficiently extensive and strong for three grand tours in a single year. Instead, the team believed it could accumulate more UCI points in one-day races scheduled during the Giro. The approach paid off, with riders like De Lie, Florian Vermeersch, Milan Menten, Caleb Ewan, and Brent Van Moer amassing significant points in races such as the GP Morbihan, Tro Bro Léon, and the Four Days of Dunkirk.

By forgoing the Giro, it is almost certain that De Lie will be racing in the Tour next year. 2024 will mark his first foray into a three-week race, with the decision now firmly leaning towards the Tour over the Giro, aligning better with De Lie’s ambitions for the Olympic Games. He hopes to join the likes of Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel in pursuit of a medal in the road race.

This decision may be a setback for riders like Lennert Van Eetvelt, Maxim Van Gils, Thomas De Gendt, and Sylvain Moniquet, who will now need to focus on the Tour and/or Vuelta. Lotto-Dstny, however, is currently expected to return to the Giro in 2025.

De Lie is set to kick off his 2024 season in mid-February, as confirmed by team director Kurt Van de Wouwer. He is scheduled to compete in the Vuelta a Murcia and the Clásica de Almería in Spain, taking place on February 10 and 11, marking a later start to his season compared to 2023 when he began in late January at the Clásica Comunitat Valenciana, which he won.

Main photo credit: Bert Goyvaerts