December 4, 2022

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Lotto talks to Axel Merckx after John Lilango's departure, Mark Sergent attacks: 'Make a hole first, then leave the sinking ship' |  Cycling

Lotto talks to Axel Merckx after John Lilango’s departure, Mark Sergent attacks: ‘Make a hole first, then leave the sinking ship’ | Cycling

CyclingLotto takes a different path. Manager John Lilango (51) will not be at the helm next year. The chemistry is gone, and the drop from the WorldTour may be the sad end point. Axel Merckx (50) is shown in the photo to take over (athletic) assignments. Mark Sergent, 63, who was thanked last year for the services rendered, lashed out at Lelangue on Twitter.

Will Axel Merckx soon be given ultimate sporting responsibility in Lotto? It seems that this is what you’re after. Merckx fits the profile the team is looking for: He’s bilingual, popular in both the north and south of the country and he knows the course. Merckx, who has lived in Belgium again since his divorce, has been the manager of the Hagens Bermann Axion American Under-23 team for years. This experience is a great asset, as Lotto will continue to focus strongly on young talent in the years to come.

Negotiations are ongoing and appear to be moving in the right direction. It’s not entirely clear what the final title will be for Merckx. Will he be a general manager, like Lilange, or will he just focus on sports? For commercial and financial matters, he can in any case refer to Yana Seal, chief business officer of the team. She will lead the team alongside Lilango for the next three months “to make the transition go smoother”. A temporary solution, as Seal has no intention of becoming CEO after that. “I don’t know enough about the sport for that,” she said internally.

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Yana Seal, chief business officer of the band. © Photo News

The name of Philip Gilbert (40) was also circulated yesterday. He’s in his final weeks as a rider and has a number of qualities on par with Merckx, but Gilbert said he “wasn’t asked for the team manager position”.

mission accomplished

Regardless of who the new CEO will be, it’s clear that a lot will change at Lotto-Dstny, where the team will be called up next year. John Lilango has been with the team for four years and says his “mission accomplished”, but it reminds us of how George “is 99 percent my business” There’s still a yard behind, said Likens goodbye to the Red Devils at the time. Lelangue’s advantage is that he allowed a lot of youngsters to flow through him, but that was forced: the team never had the necessary clout. Today, landing from the WorldTour is actually inevitable. Lotto will need wildcards for the next three years in order to be allowed to ride the biggest races. Not a nice ending. Lelangue says he made the decision himself not to renew his expired contract. The team adheres to the divorce by “mutual agreement”. Anyway, the story is over.

Sergeant with a sharp tweet

Who commented on Lilange’s departure: Mark Sergeant. He is thanked, along with Hermann Frisson, for his services last year after two decades with the team. Now the censor empties out with a powerful tweet:

“Imagine you’ve got a beautiful ship, it’s been well maintained for decades, and yet you start making a hole in it. But if it sinks, get another new boat first and get out of the sinking ship quickly. #mission Success #outrageous”


It’s a break-in at Lotto Soudal (bis): Lilanji’s right hand resigns

John Lilang

John Lilang © BELGA