Lotto-Soudal suspend performance manager after ‘incident’ on eve of Vuelta a España 2019

The Belgian team said the former pro already had an earlier warning

(Image credit: Corbis via Getty Images)

Lotto-Soudal has suspended performance manager Kevin De Weert following an “incident” on the eve of the Vuelta a España 2019.

De Weert, a former professional rider, has been suspended with immediate effect and for the remainder of the race.

Lotto-Soudal said the decision was taken after De Weert was given an earlier warning, but the team has not revealed the nature of the incident or further details around why the 37-year-old was suspended.

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A statement from the Belgian WorldTour team, released on Wednesday (August 28), said: “Following an incident at the eve of La Vuelta and after an earlier warning, the management of the Lotto-Soudal cycling team has decided to temporarily suspend its performance manager, Kevin De Weert, with immediate effect, for the remainder of the duration of the race.”

The statement added: “The team management will not make any further comments until a conversation between general manager John Lelangue and Kevin De Weert takes place, after his return in Belgium.”

Belgian De Weert was a pro from 2003 until 2015 when he retired.

During his career he rode for Rabobank and Quick-Step before joining LottoNL-Jumbo for his final season, taking some impressive results including 12th overall at the 2011 Tour de France, but never scoring a professional win.

De Weert worked as Belgian national coach after his retirement, joining Lotto-Soudal as performance manager at the end of last season.

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Lotto-Soudal is pursuing stage glory at the Vuelta a España 2019, with breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt, riding alongside the likes of 2018 Vuelta stage winner Jelle Wallays, Tosh Van Der Sander, Sander Armée and Carl Fredrik Hagen.

The team has been active in the race, with Armée making the break on stage two, De Gendt attempting an attack on stage three and Wallays joining the escape on stage four, but has yet to score a win.

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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 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.