Steff Cras of Lotto Soudal expressed his surprise and joy at being named among the eight riders of the Belgian WorldTour team for this year’s Tour de France. The squad was announced last week and also includes Philippe Gilbert, Thomas De Gendt, John Degenkolb and sprinter Caleb Ewan, whom it will be Cras’ responsibility to try to heal during the Grand Tour de France, which will will run this year from August 29. -September 20.”It’s good that the team gave me confidence, even though I practically did not race for Lotto Soudal in 2020,” said Cras, who started his season with his new team at Challenge Mallorca in Spain at the end January before competing in the United Arab Emirates. Tower.
“The team was looking for a cyclist from my profile for eighth place on the team – someone who can help during the flat parts and who can also stay with Caleb during the mountain stages,” he said. “Caleb is our top priority on the Tour. During the first mountain stages, I will not leave his side, and maybe I can save energy, which could be useful during the transition stages. “Although this is the first Tour de France of Cras, it will be the second Grand Tour of his career after having piloted the 2019 Vuelta a España for the former Katusha-Alpecin team, which the Belgian finished at the 76th place in the general classification.
Ewan, meanwhile, made his Tour debut last year with Lotto Soudal, and quickly found his rhythm by winning three sprint stages.
“Earlier this year, I rode with Caleb Ewan on the UAE Tour, and it worked very well,” said Cras. “Caleb is a true leader. You immediately understand what he wants. I’m already counting the days until the start of the Tour. It’s really a dream come true. ”
Lotto Soudal joined the WorldTour Jumbo-Visma team to confirm his eight-man team for the Tour. In addition to Cras, Gilbert, De Gendt, Degenkolb and Ewan, this year’s Lotto Soudal team is complemented by Tim Wellens and Ewan’s leading runners Roger Kluge and Jasper De Buyst.
“Why wait longer? All of our runners will be ready to start the competition, “said team general manager John Lelangue. “There is no point in keeping everyone in the dark about the program. On the contrary, it gives everyone peace of mind. “