Moreno Hofland will move across to Lotto Soudal on a two-year contract with the 25-year-old leaving LottoNL-Jumbo after four seasons. Hofland posted has top-ten results in every stage race he's started this season but is yet to add to his 12 professional victories in 2016. He explained in a release from his new team that he hopes a change of environment can reinvigorate his career and see him return to the top step of the podium.
"I have been riding for the same team for eight years now: first three years for the development team and then I rode five years for the pro team. I notice I need a new challenge and new surroundings. I was very pleased with the offer of Lotto Soudal to join the team," said Hofland.
A fast finisher, Hofland will become a key rider in the sprint train for André Greipel, but will also be given his own opportunities to pursue results as he added.
"Apart from the fact that this is a new adventure there are several reasons why I specifically chose for Lotto Soudal," said Hofland. "This team has one of the best sprint trains in the world. I am looking forward to playing a role in it to help my teammates and I also hope to learn a lot from it to become better myself. I also want to develop my Classics skills and then I'm on the right place with Lotto Soudal as well. Lotto Soudal is very experienced in the one-day races and I see that young riders with a similar profile as me are setting steps forward every year. I am sure we can stimulate each other."
Speaking of his specific goals, Hofland explained that he will aim for success in the harder sprint finishes of the spring classics with a focus on winning.
"The last years I focused on the sprint and left the Classics aside, but I know those races suit me and now I want to focus on it," he said. "I'm fast after hard races or on tough finishes. That's how I also got the role of a sprinter for the flat courses, but hard races are better for me. Next year I really want to show myself in the Flemish races and win. I haven't won this year and in 2017 I want to start winning again."
Hofland's back end of the 2016 season has included several one-day races but it's the early season when the Dutchman wants to be racing one-day events and Lotto Soudal team manager Marc Sergeant is looking to facilitate that request.
"Moreno Hofland can definitely become part of the sprint train of André Greipel," said Sergeant. "He could be the successor of Greg Henderson. On the other hand Moreno is still very young himself and he has the ambition to win and we will give him that chance. There are many races where we ride without Greipel. For those races we can already rely on a few fast guys, but an extra sprinter is definitely welcome and that’s now the case with Moreno.
"Moreno isn't only fast, he's also cut out for the Flemish races with cobbles and wind. He can survive the Flemish hills. This is a second type of race we want to let him play a role in."
Hofland joins Nikolas Maes (Etixx-QuickStep) in signing for Lotto Soudal while Greg Henderson (UnitedHealthcare) and Pim Ligthart (Roompot - Oranje Peloton) are the only confirmed exits so far. For the Cyclingnews guide to 2016-2017 rider transfers, click here.
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