Last year, Thomas De Gendt got the Lotto team cheers on the Giro’s eighth stage. “One of my best wins ever,” De Gendt said at the time.
This year, for the first time since 2000, the Belgian formation will not be on the “Corsa Rosa” starting podium.
Lotto-Dstny will not be part of the WorldTour for the next 3 years and therefore will not have a starting obligation in all WorldTour races. As the best ProContinental team, they get to choose which WorldTour races to ride.
“We removed the Giro from our program and there are two reasons for that,” says sporting director Kurt van de Weer.
“In the first place, we want to make the Tour team as fresh as possible at the start of the Tour, because that’s the most important race of the year. We want Caleb Ewan, for example, to travel to the Grand Départ as fresh as possible.”
“In addition, there are also many smaller stage races and one-day races during the Giro where we can collect a lot of points.”
“These points are important, because we have to be in the top two ProContinental teams at the end of the season to make sure we can participate in the Tour and other WorldTour races in 2024.”
Lotto-Dstny also reduced its program in the early months of the season.
“We opted not to ride the Tour Down Under in mid-January. Ewan can score points for us, because he’ll be riding there with Australian Grad Drizzlers in the Australian national team jersey.”
“In addition to the Tour Down Under, we are also canceling the Tirreno-Adriatico Tour and the Basque Country Tour.”
“For the rest, we ride the entire WorldTour program,” says Van de Wouwer.
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