On Tuesday morning, Lotto Soudal announced that the sealant manufacturer would end its sponsorship after the 2022 season.
Shortly after the announcement from John Lelangue's team, Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reported that Soudal will become a main sponsor of the QuickStep team in 2023.
The team's current main co-sponsor, window manufacturer Deceuninck, is stepping away from its sponsorship at the end of this season, while QuickStep Floors has renewed its backing for six years through to the end of 2026 and will be the solo main sponsor of the team during the 2022 season.
Soudal, which has been co-title sponsor at Lotto for eight seasons, will be the main partner in its new sponsorship, with its contribution set to increase during the life of the agreement as QuickStep's declines proportionally.
Deceuninck-QuickStep's long-term future is secure, with the team having recently signed several key riders to long-term extensions. Remco Evenepoel signed on through 2026, while Tour of Flanders champion Kasper Asgreen and world champion Julian Alaphilippe have signed up through 2024.
João Almeida and sprinter Sam Bennett will leave the team next year, with Alpecin-Fenix sprinter Tim Merlier among those rumoured to be joining in place of the Irishman.
On Monday, the team announced that they had extended their partnership with Napoleon Sports & Casino to the end of 2024. Meanwhile, Castelli is rumoured to be joining as clothing manufacturer for 2022, jumping from Ineos Grenadiers and replacing long-standing partner Vermarc.
The sponsor switch isn't the first time a company has jumped between the two Belgian WorldTour teams. Omega Pharma and subsidiary brands Davitamon, Predictor and Silence sponsored Lotto from 2005 to 2011 before moving to QuickStep for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Meanwhile, at Lotto, the Belgian state lottery will remain on board, continuing a sponsorship that stretches all the way back to 1985, which now also includes the women's and under-23 squads. No replacement co-sponsor is yet in place, though the team does now have over a year to search.
"The names of Lotto-Adecco, Silence-Lotto or Davitamon-Lotto ring a bell with every cycling fan. Lotto has been a constant factor for 37 years, but one name that will also remain linked with Lotto is that of Soudal," said Jannie Haek, Lotto CEO.
"It is the longest-running partnership in the history of the Lotto team and the successes we have achieved together will always be remembered. We are happy that we can continue this until the end of 2022. Afterwards, the National Lottery will continue to invest in a cycling team and, by extension, in the Belgian cycling scene."
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Daniel Ostanek has been a staff writer at Cyclingnews since August 2019, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later part-time production editor. 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.
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