Teams & Riders Lotto Soudal Cycling Team

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As of now, they would still be guaranteed to ride the Tour (and any WT race) next year. Not exactly an immediate catastrophe for the sponsors.
Yes, for now. But next year they'll have their work cut out for them. I would expect Total and UnoX to seriously challenge Lotto for best Pro Team in 2023. Especially if they lose riders like De Lie and maybe even Ewan.

The advantage of a WT license is that you get security for three years. And that one lesser season won't immediately means losing out of the Grand Tours the year after. And such assurances are probably quite valuable for a sponsor.
 
Yes, for now. But next year they'll have their work cut out for them. I would expect Total and UnoX to seriously challenge Lotto for best Pro Team in 2023. Especially if they lose riders like De Lie and maybe even Ewan.

The advantage of a WT license is that you get security for three years. And that one lesser season won't immediately means losing out of the Grand Tours the year after. And such assurances are probably quite valuable for a sponsor.
Losing WT status is the dealbreaker. Being able to attend WT races as a transition period is simply delaying the inevitable. Whether they are denied next year or the year after, doesn't really matter in terms of relegation and downsizing. It will only make the process a bit less painfull but the way back will not be more easy.
 
Of course it will be easier. When all WT races are optional for them next year, they can more easily plan a calendar around points and high target events, not burdened by the obligation to ride all WT races. That accumulates, as it means it will be easier for them to be among the two best Pro Teams next year, giving them the same guarantee the year after. That's already two of the three years where points will count for the next WT promotion round.

Keeping Caleb Ewan should allow for success in the Tour, and then I don't see sponsors fleeing.
 
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So first you're arguing sponsors won't flee because they can still ride all WT races, and now you are arguing they'll have an easier time because they don't need to ride all WT races. Sponsors pay for their name in WT races. When the team won't ride all WT races, sponsors won't fork over the same budget. It's quite simple really.
 
So first you're arguing sponsors won't flee because they can still ride all WT races, and now you are arguing they'll have an easier time because they don't need to ride all WT races. Sponsors pay for their name in WT races. When the team won't ride all WT races, sponsors won't fork over the same budget. It's quite simple really.
They can ride any WT race they want, and that is great for them and their sponsors. It means they are guaranteed to race the Tour and the biggest Belgian races. I don't think their sponsors care if they race Poland, Romandie, Down Under etc.
 
The current UCI teams ranking of the season so far:



I've highlighted the four highest scoring teams that at this moment is virtually PRT next season. I think they'll easily outscore Israel next year too (especially since the latter won't have guaranteed wildcards), so for next season, the only danger is Uno-X stepping up (massively).
 
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So, which races did they score those points in so far this season? The big races, the races that the sponsors value? Nope. So if that's the proposed tactic, to ride the big WT races, i wish them good luck. I also wouldn't be surprised if the sponsors say ''ok guys, you were crap in the classics and in the GT's last year, so we're not gonna pay you top dollar anymore, regardless of what Netserk thinks''. You also conveniently assume they will have the same team to rely on. If they lose De Lie and Ewan, this scenario becomes even more unlikely.

But it's nice that you are optimistic.
 
So, which races did they score those points in so far this season? The big races, the races that the sponsors value? Nope. So if that's the proposed tactic, to ride the big WT races, i wish them good luck. I also wouldn't be surprised if the sponsors say ''ok guys, you were crap in the classics and in the GT's last year, so we're not gonna pay you top dollar anymore, regardless of what Netserk thinks''. You also conveniently assume they will have the same team to rely on. If they lose De Lie and Ewan, this scenario becomes even more unlikely.

But it's nice that you are optimistic.
Ewan is signed till 2024, De Lie till 2023.
I can't see any of them leaving if they end up relagating next season, if they land that guaranteed wild card why would Ewan leave a team where he will be the sole leader in the TDF and where he has a decent train with people he knows.
 
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Ewan is signed till 2024, De Lie till 2023.
I can't see any of them leaving if they end up relagating next season, if they land that guaranteed wild card why would Ewan leave a team where he will be the sole leader in the TDF and where he has a decent train with people he knows.
Any sensible sportsmanager has his athletes put in clauses to get out of a contract in case conditions change. A career is too short to waste. Maybe Ewan and De Lie don't have such clauses, which would be good for Lotto (if they still have the money to pay them those wages) but my guess would be they have, especially Ewan.
 
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So, which races did they score those points in so far this season? The big races, the races that the sponsors value? Nope.
As I wrote higher up, guaranteed wildcards allows both for points maxing and to race and target the races that matter to the sponsors. They are not paid to get points, they are not paid to be WT. They are paid to be present and to perform in the biggest races. WT license, points, and guaranteed wildcards are means to an end.

They have a team that even if relegated still will be able to perform in the biggest races and with very good prospects of a good race program in the coming years, which puts them in a prime position for the next promotion and relegation round.

There is no immediate catastrophe in sight. There certainly doesn't have to be. For that, either Lotto should pull the plug or the best riders flee, but I doubt that will happen.
 
As I wrote higher up, guaranteed wildcards allows both for points maxing and to race and target the races that matter to the sponsors. They are not paid to get points, they are not paid to be WT. They are paid to be present and to perform in the biggest races. WT license, points, and guaranteed wildcards are means to an end.

They have a team that even if relegated still will be able to perform in the biggest races and with very good prospects of a good race program in the coming years, which puts them in a prime position for the next promotion and relegation round.

There is no immediate catastrophe in sight. There certainly doesn't have to be. For that, either Lotto should pull the plug or the best riders flee, but I doubt that will happen.
You are really looking at this from a best case scenario point of view. I agree WT license and points are means to an end. But not only did they get no substantial WT points in the spring classics, they were mostly not even on camera. Best move was Moniquet and Vanhoucke in LBL because they were two in a break of 6(?) guys. That has basically been their best effort in terms of sponsors. And these are exactly the races their sponsors expect them to shine. These are Belgian/(mostly) Flemish sponsors, and one of their two major sponsors (Soudal) has already ended their sponsorship for next year. I already mentioned that. So as it stands, it is already a tiny catastrophy for them and they are already at a disadvantage compared to the scenario you are pushing.

When you say ''they have a team that even if relegated still will be able to perform in the biggest races...'' what exactly do you mean by ''perform''? Yes, their team will be present, but if they perform at the same level they have performed this year, then again, they are in big trouble. As i mentioned before, they got most of their points in the small races this season so far, not in the big races the sponsors value. So for them to score points AND please the sponsors at the same time the next three years, they need to score points in the big races, which is EXACTLY what they have been failing to do with their current team, even assuming they can keep all of their current riders.

In conclusion, they already lost one of two name sponsors so they are already in a squeeze. Your scenario assumes them to perform and get points in the big races which they have failed to do lately. All their development riders don't have long contracts and many (likely the cream of the crop) could leave, which would be a huge blow for Lotto considering they have always relied on their development riders to move through the ranks. And you disregard the chance that some of their major riders will be leaving.
 
They have won 6 Tour stages the last three years. That's what I call performing. And no, that doesn't result in many points, but it's far more valuable than that. Points they will be able to get elsewhere, as shown by them sitting at 13th place in this season.
Which is exactly why i've been saying they need to focus on the smaller races this year for the points and on Ewan in the GT's so they can simply ensure their WT status for the next 3 years. And i remember your argument being that they shouldn't be riding the smaller WT races. That's a bit contradictory. So they shouldn't ride the smaller WT races, but smaller non-WT races to score points... what's the difference?

Yes, they won 6 stages in the TDF. One by De Gendt who's time has come and gone, and 5 by Ewan. So exactly where do they stand in case Ewan leaves? Right.
 
Does anybody know if UCI points scored in stages are only counted after the stagerace is finished? Last week Yates won the ITT, but the UCI points for BEX had not changed for the week. So i assume all the points of the Giro stages will only be added after the Giro? Lotto is currently a little less than 900 points behind BEX by last weeks count (May 10th), and it's safe to say in case they could overtake BEX, they would also overtake Israel Cycling who are only ahead by just 44 points. In the meanwhile BEX has only scored 14 points with Groenewegen in Turkey. In the Giro they scored 112 points with Yates and Sobrero in the ITT so far.

Meanwhile Lotto has roughly scored 480 points since the last count (May 10th) last week if i'm not mistaken (Giro, Morbihan, Tro Bro). So they should have roughly come 350 points closer to BEX, bringing the gap virtually down to 550 points (including results in the Giro for both teams so far).

Yates is 11 minutes down and considering getting out of the Giro, so the big GC points are likely not going to come for them in the Giro either. On the other hand, i don't think there are too many chances left for Ewan either this Giro, so they might not come any closer anymore this Giro.
 
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The points only get added at the end of the race. So Giro points will be added to the ranking in 2 weeks.

Also they have no chance to overtake BikeExchange. Michael Matthews is on that team. He will take a sh*t ton of points in Canada (both races give same amount of points as the monuments for some reason, Plouay, the worlds. He's like the perfect rider not to get relegated. Sure to score lots of points because of his racing style.
 
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There seems to be bigger problems in the team.

Wellens will leave.
The operations manager quit a couple days ago. She was the 2nd in line in the team and apparently very well liked.
Also seems like all riders with a contract have an out in the contract in case they don't get WT-status.
 
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One team that has been overlooked for now and could very well be in the danger zone in a couple of months is EF. They do not have a consistent scorer (Valgren and Bettiol could easily score big or be almost non-factors in end of season races, I don't have trust in Chaves and Uran is regressing each year).
 
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when you take a look at the 10 best riders per team standings Lotto Soudal has better points with the last 4 riders than let's say Bikeexchange, Israel, EF, Astana so if their total sqaud continues to gain points like they do now everything is possible...
 
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Does anybody know if UCI points scored in stages are only counted after the stagerace is finished? Last week Yates won the ITT, but the UCI points for BEX had not changed for the week. So i assume all the points of the Giro stages will only be added after the Giro? Lotto is currently a little less than 900 points behind BEX by last weeks count (May 10th), and it's safe to say in case they could overtake BEX, they would also overtake Israel Cycling who are only ahead by just 44 points. In the meanwhile BEX has only scored 14 points with Groenewegen in Turkey. In the Giro they scored 112 points with Yates and Sobrero in the ITT so far.

Meanwhile Lotto has roughly scored 480 points since the last count (May 10th) last week if i'm not mistaken (Giro, Morbihan, Tro Bro). So they should have roughly come 350 points closer to BEX, bringing the gap virtually down to 550 points (including results in the Giro for both teams so far).

Yates is 11 minutes down and considering getting out of the Giro, so the big GC points are likely not going to come for them in the Giro either. On the other hand, i don't think there are too many chances left for Ewan either this Giro, so they might not come any closer anymore this Giro.
They are 800ish points behind BEX with everything updated. A lot of the points (De Gendt, Vermeersch in particular) LTS scored last weekend do not count (for now). They overtook Israel. 1000 points behind EF which is probably the team they should set their eyes on. They're the only team that hasn't changed their schedule to go for points. Catching team that ride as much as Lotto is incredibly hard (BEX is riding estonia for example next week as the only WT team, they'll get a lot of points).

I still think Lotto's best bet is keeping Israel behind and hoping Astana folds before LTS themselves fold, because right now it's an actual possibility that that team simply doesn't exist anymore after this year. Or they simply lose all their riders with non-WT clauses and every rider who's now out of contract not wanting to extend. Like why would a guy as Van Gils choose LTS over Alpecin for example.
 
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where did you see that? it's not on their twitter as far as I can see...

I'm a bit involved in the race, and they confirmed participation yesterday. One or two more good teams are likely to be added over the coming days, now that Austria was cancelled
 
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