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Kron steps up to WorldTour level with Lotto Soudal

Andreas Kron (Riwal Securitas) leads the breakaway on stage 4 of the 2020 Tour de Wallonie
Andreas Kron (Riwal Securitas) leads the breakaway on stage 4 of the 2020 Tour de Wallonie (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Lotto Soudal have announced that Denmark's Andreas Kron – who currently rides for Danish ProTeam Riwal Securitas – will join the Belgian WorldTour squad on a two-year contract from 2021. The 22-year-old has enjoyed a strong 2020 season so far, winning the youth classification at the Saudi Tour at the start of the year, and more recently featuring in the breakaway on stage 4 of the Tour de Wallonie and finishing second in the road race at the Danish national championships.

"The WorldTour has always been the ultimate ambition," said Kron in a Lotto Soudal press release on Friday. "I have a foot in the door now, and have two years to prove myself. I don't pretend to think I have made it. The hard work starts now and the challenge is for me to show I can progress as a rider.

"It's a big step, and I'm still young, but I think it's a good moment in my development after four years with Riwal," he continued. "Lotto Soudal has a big focus on my development as a rider, and person as well, which is also the reason why I went in that direction. They seem to have a solid plan for where to go, and it matches very well with where I see myself."

Kron started the 2020 season strongly, taking seventh place on the opening stage of the Saudi Tour in a reduced bunch sprint to take the white jersey as best young rider, which he kept for the remainder of the race, at which he finished eighth overall. He went on to finish ninth at the Trofeo Laigueglia in Italy, and then – following professional cycling's shutdown due to the coronavirus – Kron returned to ride strongly at the Tour de Wallonie, forming part of the main breakaway on stage 4 that also included Deceuninck-QuickStep's Zdenek Stybar and Alpecin-Fenix's Scott Thwaites, although the break was eventually caught 10 kilometres from the finish.

Kron then raced to second place in the road race at the Danish national championships on Sunday, beaten only by Deceuninck-QuickStep's Kasper Asgreen, who was able to overpower him in the final kilometre.

"I've worked with this talented young rider for four years now, and I'm excited for him to get to ride on the WorldTour," said his current sports director at Riwal, Michael Blaudzun on the announcement of Kron's move. "It's a natural step for him now, and I think Lotto Soudal will be happy to have signed Andreas. I'm looking forward to following his development, now from the sidelines."

Lotto Soudal general manager John Lelangue added: "I saw him finish fifth at last year's World Championships [under-23 road race] in Harrogate in tough and bad weather conditions. He showed himself to be a rider with character.

"We've been watching Andreas for a while. While this is a big step for him now, we as a team will provide him with the best possible support to continue his positive development. Andreas made it clear to us that he wants to excel in the hilly Classics and the week-long stage races," he said. "We'll give him the necessary time, but we're confident that he'll soon show soon what he's capable of."

Kron will next line up for the Danish national team in the under-23 road race at the UEC Road European Championships in Plouay, France, on Thursday.