Classics legend Tom Boonen could be dropped from Lotto-Soudal as advisor

The Belgian moved from Quick-Step to the rival team at the end of his career

Paris-Roubaix was Tom Boonen's last race as a professional, the legendary Belgian finishing in 13th place
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Retired Classics hardman Tom Boonen could be dropped from his advisor role at Lotto-Soudal.

Boonen, who retired after the 2017 Paris-Roubaix, switched from Quick-Step Floors to Belgian rivals Lotto-Soudal as a “technological advisor” for 2018.

But Lotto’s new CEO John Lelangue said Boonen may not be kept on next season.

Lelangue told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad (opens in new tab): “At the moment Tom is not part of my plan.

“He is someone who can definitely add value to the team, only he must have a full function and at the moment it’s not clear to me how exactly we can fill it.”

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The incoming CEO, who replaces Paul De Geyter after just one year, this week organised a non-rider team day at the Soudal headquarters in northern Belgium.

Team staff, doctors, cooks and mechanics all attended, but Boonen did not take part in the event.

Boonen rode for Quick-Step Floors for 15 seasons before retiring from the sport last season at the age of 37.

Lotto-Soudal and Quick-Step have maintained a long-standing rivalry as the two Belgian WorldTour outfits.

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But despite the competition, Boonen moved joined Lotto this season as an advisor and shareholder.

The four-time Paris-Roubaix and triple Tour of Flanders winner joined as part of Lotto’s Captains of Cycling programme, which allows the public to invest in the team and get a range of benefits.

He was also given an additional role as advisor.

In his final racing season, Boonen finished 13th in Paris-Roubaix and took top-10s in E3 Harelbeke and Ghent-Wevelgem.

During his career, he won six Tour de France stages, the World Championships in 2005, and the Tour of Qatar overall four times.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.