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by Mark Zalewski
December 15, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Dutch cycling federation launches investigation into harassment as riders speak out; Cadel’s Race gets curtain-raiser crit on Melbourne’s Albert Park F1 circuit; Peter Sagan considering using disc brakes for 2017 Paris-Roubaix; Tiesj Benoot extends with Lotto Soudal until 2019; Ekimov elected as president of Russian Cycling Federation; Team UniSA-Australia names Tour Down Under first four; Geraint Thomas unable to defend Commonwealth Games title; Rohan Dennis still eyeing hour record; Joe Dombrowski’s uphill hour record; Latour breaks finger during training camp; Amador fined for riding on highway; Thieves use cycling apps to target victims; Movistar’s holiday season video.
Tiesj Benoot has extended with the Lotto Soudal team through 2019. The 22-year-old had a breakout first season in 2015 with a top-five result at the Tour of Flanders, and his second season seemed to be on the same path until a crash at De Ronde derailed his Classics campaign. However, the team sees a bright future with the 22-year-old.
“It pleases us that Tiesj finds this team the best to further develop himself,” said Marc Sergeant, sports manager. “The long-term agreement we have with our main sponsors enables us to focus on the future of our team. The confidence the sponsors have in this team, makes it possible to extend the contract of Tiesj Benoot until the end of 2019.
“He had a very promising start of his career in 2015, as Tiesj already showed his skills quite soon. At first, he continued on the same path in 2016. Just think about his good results at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche and E3 Harelbeke. Due to the consequences of his crash Tiesj wasn’t able to set good results anymore during the spring. But it’s a fact that Tiesj will be one of the key riders in our team the next three years. By this time we already know his strong points, but not yet his limits. We are very curious to see him develop further. In our team Tiesj finds the perfect environment to grow.”
“My first season as a pro went well, with my fifth place at the Ronde van Vlaanderen as a highlight,” said Benoot. “The Ronde is a race that appeals to everybody, so everyone remembers that performance. The crash was the start of a hard time for me. Now I look back on it, I realize it had a positive twist to it as well. That period taught me a lot mentally and it’s good to go through something like that at a young age. It has made me stronger. The past season I actually learned more than last year.
“Next year, I will ride my first ever Grand Tour. When the spring goes as hoped, that will be the Tour de France. It was already decided earlier to participate for a first time in a Grand Tour in 2017. Of the Grand Tours the Tour is the one which matches my other goals best. The course looks nice, although I realize that a first Tour will mainly be focussed on learning.”
Click through to read more at Lotto Soudal.