Following yesterday's announcement of the signing of Maxime Monfort, Lotto Belisol has today announced that Pim Ligthart will join the Belgian team on a two-year contract. The former Dutch champion is set to play a support role in the classics while targeting personal success on stages in shorter stage races.
Another Vacansoleil rider has found a new home. Former Dutch champion Pim Ligthart will leave the Dutch squad whose future is uncertain due to a lack of sponsorship money, to join Lotto Belisol on a two-year contract.
Known as a versatile rider with a fast sprint and a track background, Ligthart made his professional debut with Vacansoleil in 2011. He won the Dutch championships in his first season and doubled his win tally earlier this year when he held off the major sprinters on the final stage of the Ster ZLM Toer.
“Lotto Belisol immediately appealed to me," he said. "For the first time I will ride on a complete Belgian team. On my current team there is a partly Belgian staff. I love racing in Belgium, cycling really lives there. It’s exciting to get to know new people, it will be my second pro team and I’m looking forward to it."
Ligthart will play a crucial support role for Jurgen Roelandts and new signing in the classics and for Andre Greipel in the sprints but the Dutchman also sees a chance to go for personal glory in select races.
“I have already proves that when I get to the finish in a select group, I can finish the job," he said. In the future I’d like to play a role in the spring and in smaller stage races, like Tour of Denmark, Ster ZLM Toer or Tour de Wallonie in which I finished 3rd in 2012. My favourite races are the championships, I’m always performing well at the Dutch one. I have already been Dutch national champion once and I’d like to repeat that. I’m also looking forward to contributing to the successes of riders like Tony Gallopin and Jürgen Roelandts in the spring classics or to the sprints of André Greipel.”
Ligthart is the 6th signing following the earlier announcements of the addition of Sander Armee, Vegard Breen, Sean De Bie, Gallopin and Maxime Monfort.
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