What's Cool In Road Cycling

Preview of the new U23 season by Kurt Van de Wouwer

2014 was an unforgettable year for the U23 riders of Lotto Belisol. Under the guidance of Kurt Van de Wouwer the boys collected 31 victories. Jef Van Meirhaeghe won the Belgian road title and Kenneth Van Rooy the individual classification of the Top Competition. Lotto Belisol U23 was the number one in the team classification of the Top Competition. Six riders of the team got a pro contract by the end of the year. What will 2015 bring for Lotto Soudal U23?

Goals for 2015
Kurt Van de Wouwer, head sports department U23: “It will be hard to do better than last year, especially because we have a very young team this season. For seven of our twenty-five riders it will be the first season in the U23 category. Like every year it’s our goal to let the riders learn new things. We participate in the main races in Belgium and abroad. We’re looking forward again to the races of the Top Competition. Last year we won the individual and team classification. Overall winner Kenneth Van Rooy is still part of our team and he definitely wants to repeat his performance of 2014. Also the Belgian Championship at the end of July is a goal for us.”

Twelve newcomers
“I dare to say that the better riders from the junior category came to the Lotto Soudal U23 team. First of all I think of Enzo Wouters, who won the Belgian road title in the junior category last year. What can he do in the bunch sprints? Senne Leysen proved to be a very talented time trialist and at the Belgian Road Championships he finished on the second place, behind Enzo. Each year you have to wait and see if the juniors can easily adjust themselves to the U23 category. It will be up to guys like Kenneth Van Rooy, Frederik Frison and Joachim Vanreyten to lead the team.”

Start at the end of February
“The season starts on Saturday 28th February with the Ster van Zwolle, a Dutch classic. The Kattekoers in the middle of March is the first race of the Top Competition. That classification will be a goal again this year. It would be great to look back on a successful time at the end of the season with lots of victories and we hope that some riders will be offered a pro contract.”

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