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Lotto Soudal sign former Qhubeka riders Barbero and Janse van Rensburg

Lotto Soudal Barbero Janse van Rensburg
Lotto Soudal CEO John Lelangue with new signings Carlos Barbero and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Image credit: Lotto Soudal)

With the team fighting for UCI points and their WorldTour status at the end of the season, Lotto Soudal has strengthened their squad by adding former Qhubeka Assos riders Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Carlos Barbero.

The pair, who haven't had a ride since Qhubeka folded at the end of the 2021 season, have signed up with the Belgian squad from May 1 to the end of the year, bringing the squad size to 29.

"I am very happy with this opportunity," Janse van Rensburg said.

"After last season I have prepared myself as I have always done, even though I did not have a team. Of course, sometimes it was difficult to keep making all the sacrifices without knowing if I would be able to race at the highest level.

"But luckily, all those sacrifices are rewarded now. I am very motivated to make something good out of this. A period like I have had just now, makes you value the life of a pro cyclist even more."

"You have to keep believing," Barbero explained. "And so, I have always done, even though it was difficult at times. I am ready to prove straight away that I am worth this opportunity. Both by sharing my experience as in getting my own results."

The pair finished last season with 231 UCI points between them but points accrued while at Qhubeka will not carry over to Lotto Soudal under UCI rider transfer rules. However they will help bolster the Belgian team's roster after a spate of illness and injury.  

The team currently lies towards the bottom of the UCI team rankings, which combines points across the 2020-22 seasons. They, and the likes of Cofidis, Israel-Premier Tech, BikeExchange-Jayco, and Movistar, lie clustered either side of the 'relegation line' which lies after the top 18 teams. Only the top 18 teams can secure WorldTour status for 2023-2025. Those who finish below the relegation line will have to fight with other ProTeams for places in the major WorldTour races. 

Team CEO John Lelangue explained that the two new signings will help Lotto Soudal cover the busy racing calendar going forward.

"Just like every team this year, we have had a lot of sicknesses," he said. 

"Therefore, we were not able to get a complete squad at the start of every race. Also, with Kamil Malecki and Jarrad Drizners we have two riders who will be out with injuries for a long time. We had to reinforce our team to be able to do the racing program we have planned."

"They are experienced, race-ready and very motivated. We will give them a chance until the end of the season and believe that they will fit in this team very well. They are grateful for the chance they are given, and I am sure that they will prove their value for our young team."

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Daniel Ostanek
Daniel Ostanek

Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.