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“I am very motivated to reinforce this team. I can play a role in the Classics and sprints. Lotto Soudal has some good sprinters in the team and I am looking forward to helping them by being part of the train."

Photo: Etixx-QuickStep / Tim De Waele




09.08.2016 @ 11:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Today Lotto Soudal can announce a first newcomer for next season. Nikolas Maes has signed a contract for two years. The 30-year-old Belgian will come over from Etixx – Quick-Step, a team for which he will have raced seven seasons. Nikolas Maes is a valued helper who will be a reinforcement for the Classics core of Lotto Soudal.


Manager Marc Sergeant said: “Nikolas is a real flandrien, someone who loves the cobbles and isn’t afraid of bad weather. At Lotto Soudal we can definitely use an extra rider like him for our Classics team. This spring several riders were out due to injuries or illness, that’s almost unavoidable. The consequence is that you always need to rely on the same group of riders to line up a team for all races, that’s why reinforcement was welcome.


“Nikolas is a very experienced rider, the past years he rode the Classics at the side of Tom Boonen. For the spring Classics we have young riders who can achieve results, just think of Tiesj Benoot and Jens Debusschere. They can definitely benefit from having someone like Nikolas with them in the team, someone who can better judge if the right moment has come to attack thanks to his experience. Nikolas often goes training with Tiesj and I am sure he can temper Tiesj when he gets too eager.


“I think Nikolas can also play an important role in the sprint. We have of course the sprint train for Greipel, but also for other riders we often set up trains. That can be for Debusschere, Roelandts or Boeckmans for example. Nikolas is a rider who shouldn’t be underestimated and he is a real asset to the team, I’m sure.”


Maes added:


“I didn’t want to change team just for the sake of it, but I had a good chat with Marc Sergeant which made me realize that his vision on cycling and that of the team are very similar to my vision. Then it was an easy choice to make. I will be able to fully use my capacities in this team. Lotto Soudal has a strong U23 team and invests a lot in Belgian youth. There are a lot of talented youngsters in the team and I like working with young riders. I like passing on my experience, but I also want to support them during races. For all these reasons this is a good match.


“I am very motivated to reinforce this team. I can play a role in the Classics and sprints. Lotto Soudal has some good sprinters in the team and I am looking forward to helping them by being part of the train. It won’t be a problem to fit in. I know most of the riders pretty well. I often go training with Tiesj Benoot for example. I’m sure I’ll be integrated quite soon.”



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