Team Sunweb confirm signing of Tiesj Benoot

Team Sunweb have announced the signing of Tiesj Benoot from Lotto Soudal, with the Belgian agreeing a contract that will see him stay at the team until the end of 2021.

Benoot turned professional with Lotto Soudal in 2015 and has raced with them for the past five seasons. The 25-year-old has established himself as one of the peloton's premier classics riders, able to compete on the hills and over the cobbles alike.

In his debut spring classics campaign, Benoot burst onto the scene with a fourth place at the Tour of Flanders, his best result yet at his home race. The 2018 edition of Strade Bianche is Benoot's sole career victory thus far, while fourth at Tirreno-Adriatico in 2018 and this year's Tour de Suisse count among his other career highlights.

Benoot has raced two Tours de France, finishing 20th overall in 2017 and taking second place behind Daryl Impey on stage 9 this year.

"I was looking for a team with a professional and scientific approach where I can make the next steps forward in my career; that’s why I chose Team Sunweb," said Benoot in a statement released by Sunweb. "I’m looking forward to joining a strong group of Classics riders at the team, where I believe we can achieve some great results in the coming years.

"My biggest goal is to further grow and develop as a rider in general and turn that into results with the team."

Benoot becomes the seventh addition of the 'transfer window' for Sunweb. The team has already confirmed the signings of Nico Denz from AG2R La Mondiale, Jasha Sütterlin from Movistar, while Florian Stork, Mark Donovan, Alberto Dainese and Thymen Arensman are turning pro with the German squad next season.

"We are very happy that Tiesj is joining our team and we can continue his journey to become the best rider possible," said team coach Marc Reef. "Tiesj is someone we have been following for quite a while, and there was already contact with him in the past.

"Form the moment he turned professional, he showed that he is one of the riders that was always there in the finals of the tough Flemish Classics, and was already close to winning one early in his career. He has also showed his versatility in stage races like Tirreno-Adriatico, Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de Suisse, proving how strong a rider he is.

"As well as adding firepower to our Classics squad alongside guys like Michael [Matthews] and Søren [Kragh Andersen], we'll also look to achieve more top results in the difficult stage races, using his diverse strength as a rider."

Both Matthews and Kragh Andersen have had their contracts with the team extended through to the end of 2021, giving Sunweb a powerful Classics squad for the next two season. The team's biggest question remains whether Tom Dumoulin will be bought out of his contract to move elsewhere. The Dutchman has been linked with a move to Jumbo-Visma after expressing concerns with the team's transfer policy and handling of his knee injury. 

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