What about VanBilsen? It was reported that he had offers both from Lotto and Israel a couple of months ago.
Vanbilsen is exactly the kind of mediocre semiclassics rider Lotto has had too many of for years, and have once again signed more of. Exactly what they don't need.
They're hardly the only ones...
Fair points on Wellens and De Lie. However, I do think it's a sign of weakness that Lotto are struggling to find well-paying secondary sponsors when the other Belgian teams have no such issues. Yes, the relegation plays a role in that, but it's hardly like that wasn't their own fault.
This seems superfluous when you have basically no GT riders. Campenaerts is hardly about to compete again with the Gannas, Evenepoels and Van Aerts in the discipline either, so I don't see where the benefits come in. Would have made a lot more sense if they'd attracted some GC types instead of overloading the team with the kind of stereotypical middling ProTeam semiclassics guys you aren't riding for anyway when you have Ewan and De Lie. Literally the majority of their signings fits that template, of course you need some depth in that department when you're a Belgian team hunting down points but they are overstocked now.
And yes I agree that their 2023 selection is pretty bad, people that think they will easily be top 2 PCT team every year are dumb. Pretty sure Israel is simply better if they don't have the amount of bad luck from last year and are a bit smarter and Total kind of depends on if Sagan gets some form back I guess. Atleast Van de Wouwer knows this and warned the whole team that points will be priority from day 1 in the new season.
Agree Israel would have to both have bad luck and mess up again to miss out again. Between Total and Lotto, there are two battles: who can get more out of their underdelivering leader (Sagan/Ewan), and can De Lie make up for Total having a far stronger second tier of riders? Doesn't sound too hopeful when you look at it like that. And then Uno-X may also challenge if they have a good year.
Van De Wouwer has also said that a climber that can lead is a priority for next transfer window if the team manages to get the budget. Which will be the number 1 thing the new CEO will have to do.
That may be too late. Finishing third of the ProTeams in 2023 would almost certainly mean the money won't be there and then you're already behind in the WT license race with a team that you'd think is too limited to make up ground. Not to mention the risk of Ewan and/or De Lie leaving in such a scenario.
No reason to add some mediocre guys now, and the good B&B guys probably have better options.
If there is any sort of money left, they should at least try to see if they can get Schultz. Most teams are full so I'm doubtful of there being many better options.