Ewan and Gilbert among headliners in Lotto-Soudal’s Tour team
A little over two months out from the start of the rescheduled Tour de France, Lotto-Soudal has announced its eight-rider squad for the race.
Sprint star Caleb Ewan and versatile stage hunters like Philippe Gilbert, John Degenkolb, Thomas De Gendt, and Tim Wellens lead the way for a squad that will be focused on stage victories at the French Grand Tour.
Ewan, who won three stages in his Tour debut last year, will return to the race this season after a buildup that will include a Milan-San Remo start. The 25-year-old Australian earned runner-up honors at the Italian Monument in 2018.
Lead-out men Roger Kluge and Jasper De Buyst will support’s Ewan sprint ambitions at the Tour.
Meanwhile, the team will look to Gilbert, Degenkolb, De Gendt, Wellens, and Belgian up-and-comer Steff Cras on the days that don’t cater to Ewan’s skill set quite as well. Tomasz Marczynski and Frederik Frison are currently slotted in as reserves for the Tour team.
“There was hardly any racing this year. You can’t wait until August to announce that selection,” said team manager John Lelangue, according to Sporza.
“With this team, this bubble, we are preparing for the Tour. As we know, we work with three bubbles in the team and each will stay within that bubble as much as possible, with the same mechanics, soigneurs and team leaders, although there will be some exceptions.”
After the Tour de France, Ewan will head to the Giro, where Lotto-Soudal will look to Carl Fredrik Hagen as a GC leader. The young Norwegian rode to eighth overall at last year’s Vuelta a España. De Gendt also has a second Grand Tour on his 2020 calendar, with the Vuelta on tap after his Tour start.