Lotto Soudal was early to put the entire selection for the Tour de France (29 August – 20 September) on paper. “Why wait any longer? All our riders will be ready to start the competition”, General Manager John Lelangue says. “There is no point in keeping everybody in the dark about the program. On the contrary, it gives everybody peace of mind.”
The most surprising name of the eight riders that will represent Lotto Soudal in the Tour de France is that of the youngster Steff Cras. Cras is 24 years old, lives in Westerlo and was a member of Katusha-Alpecin for the last two seasons.
“I was very pleasantly surprised too”, Steff Cras says. “I am new in the team. It has already been a special, very short season and now I will be riding among all those big names.’
Indeed. Besides Cras, Caleb Ewan with his sprint train Roger Kluge and Jasper De Buyst, together with Philippe Gilbert, Tim Wellens, John Degenkolb and Thomas De Gendt will be starting in Nice.
“It’s nice that the team gives me the confidence even though I have hardly raced for Lotto Soudal in 2020. The team was looking for a cyclist of my profile for the eight place in the team. Someone who can help during the flat part and who can also stay with Caleb Ewan during the mountain stages. Caleb is our absolute priority in the Tour. During the first mountain stages I will not leave his side and maybe I will be able to save some energy which might be useful during the transition stages.”
Steff Cras is a contemporary of title defender Egan Bernal and he is also a good climber. As a member of the U23 team of Lotto Soudal, Cras drew the attention in the high mountains. Cras lives for his job, he is a true professional concerning nutrition and training.
“Every percent helps. My condition will certainly be good to start the Tour. I am not worried about that and I have no stress either. Earlier this year I rode together with Caleb Ewan in the UAE Tour and it worked very well. Caleb is a true leader. You understand immediately what he wants. I am already counting the days until the start of the Tour. This is really a dream come true”Steff Cras