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"Lotto Soudal is the best team to develop myself. In this team, young riders get chances. I was able to become a protected rider here, in other teams this would be less likely."

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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TIM WELLENS

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16.03.2016 @ 14:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lotto Soudal and Tim Wellens have announced a prolonged cooperation. Wellens remains with the team at least until the end of 2018.

 

The 24-year-old Belgian who is a product of the Lotto Cycling Talent Project, has been a professional cyclist for four years now and already obtained some nice results. He won the Eneco Tour two times in a row and last year he was the best in the GP Montréal. This season, Wellens won the final stage of Paris-Nice. With this contract extension, the team shows its confidence in the abilities of this Ardennes specialist.

 

“Since I became a professional cyclist in 2012, my contract has been prolonged a few times and I never got to the final year of my contract," he said. "Such a season can cause stress sometimes, but so far I never had to experience that. This time my contract has been extended till the end of 2018, that’s one year extra. The team made the suggestion for a contract extension and that gives me a good feeling of course, but I won’t lean back. I’m very happy that the team confirms its confidence in me so I can keep building my way to the top. My goals won’t change due to this extension, year by year we discuss which races I need to focus on.

 

“I don’t care if I get offers from other teams. Lotto Soudal is the best team to develop myself. In this team, young riders get chances. I was able to become a protected rider here, in other teams this would be less likely. The young Belgians such as Tiesj Benoot, Sean De Bie, Louis Vervaeke and myself stimulate each other to become better riders and also the cooperation with the more experienced riders is very good. We motivate and trigger each other. The perfect mix!”

 

Manager Marc Sergeant added:

 

“The team really wants Tim to be part of Lotto Soudal during the following years and also Tim looks forward to this. Then it’s logical that we come to a long term agreement thanks to which both parties can fulfil their ambitions. The progression that Tim has made since he’s a professional cyclist is impressive. No one can predict how much potential he has, but in my opinion Tim can become an established name in the one-day races which suit him. Besides that, we’ll have to discover which limits and possibilities he has in the short and long stage races.

 

“Tim is part of a small group of Belgian riders who can perform at the highest international level. As a Belgian team in the WorldTour, it’s normal that we want him to be part of the team. We have chosen to prolong his contract before he makes the next step in his cycling career. I think that we express our confidence in Tim in that way. Now we can help him to reach his further goals in a familiar and positive environment.”

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