Lotto-Soudal have announced the signings of Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Carlos Barbero until the end of the year, with the pair joining the Belgian-based team from May 1.
Both Janse van Rensburg and Barbero have been without a team since Qhubeka-NextHash folded at the end of last year, and 33-year-old Janse van Rensburg was getting ready to call time on his career before he received the call from Lotto-Soudal.
"I am very happy with this opportunity," Janse van Rensburg said. “After last season I have prepared myself as I have always done, even though I did not have a team. Of course, sometimes it was difficult to keep making all the sacrifices without knowing if I would be able to race at the highest level.
"But luckily, all those sacrifices are rewarded now. I am very motivated to make something good out of this. A period like I have had just now, makes you value the life of a pro cyclist even more.
“I am physically and mentally completely race-ready and I am looking forward to competing again. Lotto Soudal is a team full of youngsters which I have always followed with great admiration. I hope to make my experience of good use with the younger riders, while also getting some results myself.”
Janse van Rensburg became the South African road race champion in February, before finishing second in the African Continental Championships Road Race in Egypt last month.
Meanwhile, Carlos Barbero's last race came at the Grand Prix d'Isbergues last September. Despite the lengthy lay-off, the Spaniard remained optimistic he would find a team for this season.
“You have to keep believing," Barbero said. “And so I have always done, even though it was difficult at times. I am ready to prove straight away that I am worth this opportunity. Both by sharing my experience as in getting my own results.
“The history of this team is impressive. I am looking forward to being a part of this beautiful team myself.”
Lotto Soudal CEO John Lelangue is pleased to add depth and experience to the team's roster, with the decision to sign the pair coming in part due to the sicknesses the team has suffered this season.
“They are experienced, race-ready and very motivated," Lelangue explained. "We will give them a chance until the end of the season and believe that they will fit in this team very well. They are grateful for the chance they are given and I am sure that they will prove their value for our young team.”
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