World Hour Record holder, Belgian Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) will join Team Dimension Data for 2020, says local media.
Campenaerts beat Bradley Wiggins’s Hour Record in April, riding 55.089km on the track in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Belgian media Het Nieuwsblad and Het Laatste Nieuws reported that only a signature remains to make it official his passage from Dimension Data, next year Team NTT, to Belgium’s Lotto-Soudal.
“Victor’s contract extension was even a priority at the start of the season,” Lotto-Soudal general manager John Lelangue said.
“We also made a proposal to him twice. But Victor, who initially screened other offers, thought it was insufficient and came up with a counter-proposal that was too high for us.”
Lotto-Soudal reportedly had cleared their budget to help sign John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) for 2020, both deals have yet to be announced. They also set aside a large chunk to re-sign Belgian 22-year-old talent Bjorg Lambrecht, who died on August 5.
Those deals did not leave much space for riders like Tiesj Benoot, who is joining Team Sunweb, and Campenaerts.
Campenaerts, 27, initially turned down an offer and came back with a counter-offer that was higher. At the same time, he was in talks with teams like Ineos. The media reported that around the end of June he was disappointed that Lotto-Soudal had no money left for him.
At the same time, he was busy with the Hour Record and the Giro d’Italia. In the final Verona time trial, he fell disappointingly short to winner Chad Haga (Sunweb).
He could bring an important surge to Team Dimension Data, who currently count on Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings and Edvald Boasson Hagen. The team now sits third to last in the WorldTour rankings for wins, with only seven on their 2019 books.
The team will need to support Campenaerts’s Olympic ambitions, which is targeting gold in the time trial in Tokyo next July.
Today, French media L’Equipe also reported that sprinter Nacer Bouhanni will leave for Arkéa-Samsic. He raced the last five years with the French team Cofidis, picked up stage wins in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, but caused headaches. This year in Tirreno-Adriatico’s first stage, a 21.5km team time trial, he was dropped and missed the time limit.
At team Arkéa-Samsic, he’ll find Nairo Quintana. Quintana, currently with Movistar, and his brother Dayer are expected to announce their move in September to join the French team, who already have sprinter André Greipel.