Lotto Soudal have unveiled their new kit for the 2022 season with the team bringing back the red and white jersey similar to their designs between 2014 and 2018.
The Belgian squad also announced that Paris-Roubaix runner-up Florian Vermeersch has extended his contract with the team until the end of the 2024 season.
After racing the 2020 and 2021 seasons with jerseys featuring large black sections on the shoulders and arms, and in 2019 wearing a mostly white jersey, the team will next year race in largely red jerseys.
A white bar across the middle of the jerseys gives space for title sponsors, Belgian national lottery Lotto and sealant and adhesive manufacturer Soudal.
Black rings on the sleeves show off Lotto’s online game Viking Lotto, while kit manufacturer Vermarc and fuelcard Caps also get a space on the front of the jersey. Traditional black shorts round off the team’s 2022 look.
Vermeersch’s contract extension sees the promising 22-year-old stick with the team through to the end of the 2024 season. The Belgian only turned pro this season, having raced for the Lotto Soudal U23 development team in 2020.
He achieved some notable results through the first half of the season, finishing in 17 th as the team’s best performer at the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, taking eighth at the Circuit de Wallonie, fifth in the time trial at the Belgian National Championships, and the mountain jersey at the Tour de Wallonie.
September brought his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a España before a third place in the U23 time trial at the World Championships and then the defining result of his short career – second at the wet Paris-Roubaix behind Bahrain Victorious rider Sonny Colbrelli.
“This contract extension gives me a lot of confidence towards the future. We share the same vision, and it is nice to be part of an ambitious project in which a lot of youngsters can develop within a professional environment,” Vermeersch said in a team press release.
“I strongly believe in the quality and the build of a Classics team that can play a role in the most important races. As a 22-year-old in a WorldTour team, you don’t always get the chance to immediately prove yourself. I’m really happy that I can discover my main strengths at Lotto Soudal, where I stepped up from the Development team.
“Apart from the confidence, it also creates a kind of family feeling. Through the years, you really bond with both the staff and riders, which was also an important factor towards a prolonged stay with the team.
“Next year, my focus will not only be on the Classics, I also want to improve my time trial skills. I think those two can be perfectly combined. And with a strong sprint, I have an additional weapon for the Classics. First and foremost, I hope to start the Classics next year in good shape and I want to show myself in the finals.”
Vermeersch is one of 27 men confirmed on Lotto Soudal’s roster for 2022, for whom sprinter Caleb Ewan, Classics leader Philippe Gilbert, and breakaway Tim Wellens and Thomas De Gendt will be among the leaders.
The returning Victor Campenaerts (from Qhubeka NextHash) is the major name on the incoming list, with Rüdiger Selig, Michael Schwarzmann coming on board from Bora-Hansgrohe. Cedric Beullens makes the step up from Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, while neo-pros Arnaud De Lie and Jarrad Drizners also join.
John Degenkolb heads up the outgoing list as he returns to DSM. Tosh van der Sande moves to Jumbo-Visma, and Stefano Oldani heads to Alpecin-Fenix. Elsewhere, the duo of Gerben Thijssen and Kobe Goossens move to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert while Tomasz Marczynski has retired.
Off the bike, the team have shaken things up among the backroom staff after a tough 2021 season which saw them rack up just 12 wins and finish down in 18th in the UCI rankings.
Longstanding directeur sportif Herman Frison and former manager Marc Sergeant have both left the team, while Allan Davies and Cherie Pridham join as directeurs sportif. Ex-Astana manager Yana Seel also comes on board as chief business officer.