Lotto Soudal have announced that 21-year-old Belgian time-trial specialist Sébastien Grignard will step up to their WorldTour team from their under-23 development squad, signing a two-year agreement for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
Grignard has spent the past three seasons with the U23 Lotto Soudal team, and the management feel that he's ready to join the WorldTour outfit from next year.
"Grignard is very talented. His medical tests are superb, and in our development team, led by Kurt Van de Wouwer, he's always shown that he has the right spirit, and has always been a good team player," Lotto Soudal general manager John Lelangue said on the team's website on Thursday.
"Even before this difficult season, we had our eye on Sébastien," Lelangue continued. "He was ready for the 2020 season, and I'm sure that, from now on, he will confirm all the good things we've already seen in him."
In 2017, Grignard became the junior national champion in both the road race and time trial, and was third in the junior time trial at that year's European Championships in Herning, Denmark. Last season, he finished third in the under-23 road race at the Belgian Nationals, and called the opportunity to now move up to Lotto's WorldTour team "a dream come true".
"This is so incredible," he said. "I'm really happy to make this step up to the WorldTour team. It's a dream come true, as especially during this strange season it has been that much harder to try to convince sports directors with any results.
"I look forward to showing what I am capable of, not only in time trials, but in other races as well, and I'm particularly fond of all the Flemish races," added Grignard. "Lotto Soudal has always kept their faith in me – even in my first year as an U23 when I lost my season because of mononucleosis. I will do everything I can not to disappoint them."
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