Lotto Soudal secure up-and-coming star Lambrecht for another two seasons

Belgian handed new contract after fourth place at Fleche Wallonne and sixth at Amstel Gold

Bjorg Lambrecht has signed for a further two years with Lotto Soudal, which will keep the 22-year-old at the Belgian WorldTour team until at least the end of 2021.

The Belgian youngster only turned pro with the squad last season, having moved up from their under-23 feeder team, but a string of good results – including fourth at Flèche Wallonne and sixth at Amstel Gold earlier this season – have led the management team to move quickly to secure his services for a further two years.

Lambrecht won a stage at the Tour des Fjords last May in his debut season in the pro ranks, and went on to start his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a España. He then took the silver medal at the under-23 world championship road race in Austria in September, behind Switzerland's Marc Hirschi, to cap off an extremely productive first year.

"It was not a difficult decision to make to stay at Lotto Soudal," Lambrecht said in a press release. "I feel at home with the team, and, for the past two years, I've always been given the opportunities I hoped to get.

"Right from the start, I received a nice race schedule, and at some races I could start as the co-leader. That wouldn't be the case at other teams," he said.

"We gave Bjorg – always in a careful way – the chance to become a fully-fledged pro," added delighted Lotto Soudal sports manager Marc Sergeant. "That approach definitely paid off with, among others, wonderful results at the past Ardennes Classics."

As well as his top results at Amstel and Flèche, Lambrecht finished fifth at this year's Brabantse Pijl and second on stage 2 of the Itzulia Basque Country, behind Deceuninck-QuickStep's Julian Alaphilippe.

"Within the team, we cherish Bjorg," Sergeant continued. "Although only aged 22, we have known each other for quite a while. For Bjorg, Lotto Soudal is a familiar environment."

Lambrecht came up through the Lotto Soudal U23 team, just like senior teammates Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens, and the young rider is happy to keep learning from the likes of them.

"Over the coming years, I want to further develop myself in the one-day and stage races. The team has already taught me a lot, and they also fully support me," Lambrecht said. "Thanks to, among others, Tiesj, Tim and Jelle Vanendert, I've taken a nice step forward in terms of physical strength and tactical insight.

"At the moment, I lack just that little bit for a top result, but that will be the main goal for the future," Lambrecht added. "On Sunday, I'll start at my first Critérium du Dauphiné. I don't have many expectations just yet, and I'm not in great shape yet, but it's also not bad. My main objectives are a bit later in the season, with the Tour de Pologne and the Vuelta a España."

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