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“I signed a two-year contract, but it’s not easy to set concrete goals of where I want to stand in two years. I look at this as a period of development, in which I have to discover where I can perform best."

Photo: Lotto Soudal




21.01.2015 @ 06:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Last season 20-year-old Tiesj Benoot was one of the guys who could do a traineeship in the Lotto Soudal pro team. He learnt a lot as a rider in the U23 team under the guidance of Kurt Van de Wouwer and he’s a product of the talent project which is very important to main sponsor Lotto. Now Benoot can make his real début in the pro team. Together with De Bie, Vallée, Broeckx, De Buyst, Vervaeke and Wellens he’s one of the youngsters who get the chance to turn from talent into a professional.


“Because of my traineeship the WorldTour team isn’t entirely new to me," he says. "In the youth categories I rode with Broeckx, Vervaeke and De Bie. You notice this is another level. The U23 team is an international top team. But the guidance,  the material,.. of the pros is even better organized. Nonetheless I learnt a lot from Kurt Van de Wouwer. Compared to some other U23 teams he has the expertise to really make younger riders better.


“It’s true that several teams asked me if I wanted to make a transfer, and it sounds like a cliché when I say that Lotto Soudal is an obvious choice. I talked with those other teams, but the conversations I had with Marc Sergeant convinced me. It’s in this environment that I see the most opportunities to develop myself, to feel at home and to get certain opportunities in the long run.”



“I signed a two-year contract, but it’s not easy to set concrete goals of where I want to stand in two years. I look at this as a period of development, in which I have to discover where I can perform best. In the U23 category I could perform well in almost every classic and even in certain stage races I didn’t set bad results, but that’s less easy with the pros. In first instance I’ll get the chance to have a taste of the Flemish races, a region where I often train because I’m from Ghent. Then there’s still enough time to get to know the other races.”



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