By Luke Friend published
DT Swiss has announced that it will be the official wheel partner of the Lotto Soudal road cycling team for 2022 onwards.
In recent years the brand has been more noted for its successful partnerships with some of the world’s best triathletes. But its commitment to producing some of the highest quality wheels, hubs and rims for all road cyclists meant that its journey back to the professional peloton was, perhaps, only a matter of time.
"Our advanced development of wheels for specific use in road cycling has not been left unattended. No matter where riders chase a victory, we offer performance optimized wheels that are durable and reliable for the team", says Ralf Eggert, Road Marketing Manager of DT Swiss.
In joining up with the Belgian World Tour team DT Swiss will re-enter the professional ranks at the highest level once again. "DT Swiss has been a long-term dream partner for our team and we are proud to bring the brand back onto the World Tour", says John Lelangue, General Manager of Lotto Soudal. "The riders are looking forward to racing these wheels with their outstanding quality and performance."
Those riders include sprint star Caleb Ewan, breakaway specialists Thomas De Gendt and Tim Wellens and a trio of seriously promising upstarts Andreas Kron, Brent Van Moer and Florian Vermeersch.
The team will be riding DT Swiss ARC 1100 DICUT 50 wheels for the new season, with the hoops making their first showing at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad one-day race in February. Racing on home soil Lotto Soudal will undoubtedly be looking for the new partnership to pay early dividends.
The 2021 season proved a mixed bag for the Lotto Soudal team. Ewan bagged two stage wins at the Giro d’Italia after starting the season with an impressive second place at Milan-Sanremo behind Jasper Stuyven. But the Aussie fast man crashed out of the Tour de France on stage 3, resulting in a fractured collarbone and subsequently an equally disjointed season.
De Gendt and Wellens, Belgian mainstays of the team for years, had fairly quiet campaigns when judged against their usual high standards, with both men winning just once.
But it was the younger members of the team who really shone through in 2021. Kron won a stage of the Tour of Switzerland while Van Moer followed suit at the Critérium du Dauphine with an impressive solo attack on the opening stage. The 23-year old Belgian also showed plenty of panache during Stage 4 of the Tour de France, when he was caught an agonizing 150 metres from the line after being away all day.
Not to be outdone, Vermeersch, the youngest of the trio at 22 years-old, put in one of the rides of the year at Paris-Roubaix. At the sharp end of the race for much of the day, he navigated the horrific conditions like a veteran, eventually finishing second behind Sonny Colbrelli. Comparisons to Tom Boonen were quick to follow.
DT Swiss will be joining a stellar line up of partners at Lotto Soudal, including Ridley, Shimano, Deda and Vittoria.
Luke Friend has worked as a writer, editor and copywriter for the past twenty years. Working across books, magazines and websites, he's covered a broad range of topics for a range of clients including Major League Baseball, the National Trust and the NHS. He has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and is a qualified bicycle mechanic. He fell in love with cycling at an early age, partly due to watching the Tour de France on TV. He's a passionate follower of bike racing to this day as well an avid road and gravel rider.
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