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Lotto Soudal reinstate Kevin De Weert after suspension

Frederik Willems and Kevin De Weert
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Lotto Soudal performance manager Kevin De Weert is back in the fold at the Belgian team, after his temporary suspension from active duty has been lifted. The 37-year-old had been suspended after an alcohol-related incident the day before the start of the Vuelta a España.

Team CEO John Lelangue reinstated De Weert after a dinner meeting, confirming the situation to Het Nieuwsblad. "Kevin will stay with us," he said.

De Weert will head to Yorkshire on Monday for a pre-World Championships training camp with Victor Campenaerts and Brent Van Moer, who will compete in the time trial, U23 road race and U23 time trial, respectively.

Before joining Lotto Soudal at the start of 2019, De Weert worked as a coach for the Belgian Cycling Federation, resigning from the role after last year's World Championships in Austria.

"Victor will be our rider until the end of December, and Brent will also be with us next year," said Lelangue. "So we want them to be able to prepare themselves well.

"Kevin has already achieved results with his approach in the past and will continue to do so with us in the future."

De Weert was suspended until September 15 but clearly has the confidence of Lelangue, despite rumours of him searching for employment elsewhere, including Deceuninck-QuickStep, during his suspension. Earlier in the season, he worked with Campenaerts as the rider set a new Hour Record in Mexico. 

De Weert had also worked as a directeur sportif in recent months but will now focus on performance after the alcohol-related incident at the Vuelta a Espana.

"It is in this role [as performance manager] that he has achieved results for us," said Lelangue. "And we are convinced that he will bring us even more results.

"When his suspension became known, I said that I would keep in touch with him. We have spoken several times in recent weeks. Kevin has assured me that such incidents will not happen again in the future."

Lelangue would not be drawn on whether the team mandated that De Weert undergo any treatment for his problems, only saying "that's something between me and Kevin."