The World Tour peloton’s longest standing sponsor faces a new edition of the Vuelta, the 17th in its trajectory. The Belgian team debuted in this race in 1998 under the name Lotto-Mobistar, repeating again in 1999 and returning continuously every year since 2005. However, the story of this group goes as far back as 1985, the year in which the first Lotto took its very first steps with its current manager, Marc Sergeant, as a member of that squad.
Despite having the best experts in their ranks throughout the years, the team’s first Vuelta victory did not arrive until 2008, when a promising Greg Van Avermaet overtook Davide Rebellin and Juan Antonio Flecha in Sabiñánigo. If up until 2016 the Belgian Group had obtained four stage victories in the Spanish Tour, in 2017 Lotto Soudal became one of the driving forces of the peloton, doubling that number of partial victories. Tomasz Marczynkski, in Sagunt and Antequera; Sander Armée, in Santo Toribio de Liébana; and Thomas de Gendt, in Gijón; four new victories to add to their record in La Vuelta for Sergeant’s team. A steady rise that they maintained in 2018, with a new stage triumph by Jelle Wallays and the first King of the Mountain jersey for the team. Thomas De Gendt wore the polka dots, becoming the second Belgian rider in La Vuelta history to win in the mountain classification.
Overall victories : 0
Stage victories : 9
2008: Greg Van Avermaet in Sabiñánigo
2010 Philippe Gilbert in Málaga and in Toledo.
2014: Adam Hansen in Cangas do Morrazo.
2017: Tomasz Marczynski, in Sagunt and Antequera, Sander Armée, in Santo Toribio de Liébana, Thomas de Gendt, in Gijón.
2018: Jelle Wallays in Lleida.
Leader jersey : 8 days
1999: Jacky Durand, 2 days.
2009: Cadel Evans, 1 day.
2010: Philippe Gilbert, 5 days.
Victories in secondary classifications : 1
2008: Greg Van Avermaet (Green jersey).
2018: Thomas De Gendt (polka dot jersey – King of the Mountains)
5 : stage victories for the Belgian team in the last two editions of La Vuelta, more than it had obtained in its previous 14 participations.
August 8th, 2008 : A group of 12 riders fight for the victory in the bunch sprint in Sabiñánigo, where Greg Van Avermaet takes the lead of the points classification.
August 12th, 2014 : Adam Hansen jumps of the peloton to launch an attack with 4.5 to go and gets the stage victory.
August 31st, 2017 : Tomasz Marczynski joins Philippe Gilbert as the only two riders of the team with two stage victories on a same edition of La Vuelta (Gilbert 2015, Marczynski 2017).
September 13th, 2018: Jelle Wallays obtains a spectacular victory in Lleida following a great performance in the breakaway. The Belgian rider won in a high-intensity finale, with the peloton on his heels, just a few metres behind.
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