Lotto Soudal announced Monday that they have re-signed Andre Greipel and Marcel Sieberg for an additional two years, which will take them to the end of 2018. Both riders joined the team in 2011, Greipel as the go-to sprinter and Sieberg as his lead-out man.
“I am really happy the team puts its trust in me for the upcoming two years,” Greipel said in a team statement. “The contract extension was something both parties really wanted.
“The next years I want to stay one of the best sprinters in the world and keep conquering victories for Lotto Soudal.”
Geripel recently won three stages at the Giro d’Italia; stage 5 in Benevento, stage 7 in Foligno and stage 12 in Bibione. He was leading the points competition when he announced his departure from the Italian Grand Tour directly following is win in Bibione. He cited goals further into the season as the reason for departing from the race early ahead of the more difficult mountain stages.
Greipel said that one of the reasons he renewed with the team was because they provided opportunities for everyone, including the younger riders.
“I feel good in this team and get the necessary support, also from the young riders,” Greipel said. “The team offers opportunities to young talent and those riders can perform even in the big races. Frederik Frison for example does such a great job in chasing down breakaways and Sean De Bie was a great support in the Giro. They help me and I can give them tips. At this moment I can’t imagine riding for another team.”
Lotto Soudal also re-signed Sieberg for two seasons, and Greipel expressed is gratitude for having such a reliable teammate.
“Sibi and I are inseparable, we want to keep riding together,” Greipel said. “He’s, in general, an important member for the entire team.”
Grepiel and Sieberg were teammates at HTC-Highroad before joining Lotto. Sieberg is one of Greipel’s lead-out men, a team captain on the road and a strong classics rider, taking seventh at Paris-Roubaix this year. He expressed his appreciation for the family-like atmosphere at Lotto Soudal and noted that there is a level of stability because the team’s financial backers are committed until 2020.
“As I said many times before, this team is a real family. As a rider you spend many days away from home, together with the team and then it’s really important to feel good within that team,” Sieberg said.
“It’s my job to support other riders in the team and when you get along really well that only makes you perform even better. These are all important reasons for staying with Lotto Soudal.
“On top of that, the main sponsors have an engagement until 2020 and that has its influence on the team. There is a solid base, the sports directors can plan for the long term. That the partners have engaged themselves to this team for such a long time also gives us confidence. This can also have a positive influence on Belgian young cyclists.
“When I was at the beginning of my career, the German teams T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner were riding in the peloton and it was an extra motivation to become pro and ride for one of those teams. That can now be the case for Belgian young cyclists and Lotto Soudal, the team really focuses on young Belgian talent. I love to share my experience with those riders.”
Lotto Soudal’s manager Marc Sergeant praised his two renewals saying, “I am convinced that the story of André at Lotto Soudal hasn’t come to an end yet. He has the potential to keep riding at this level and get even more victories.
“Obviously, with the support of Marcel Sieberg. [Tiesj] Benoot, [Tim] Wellens, Greipel or [Tony] Gallopin, all top riders in the team beg to have him in the selection when they race. Sieberg is a perfect pilot, a pillar in the team and especially a very strong rider who performs well in every race he starts.”