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Transfer talk: Tiesj Benoot to bolster Team Ineos's Spring Classics squad?

Joe Robinson
7 Jun 2019

Talented Belgian linked with move to Team Ineos as Lotto-Soudal admit they are worried about his future

Team Ineos could poach the services of one of Belgium's most promising Spring Classics specialists. It is believed that team manager Dave Brailsford is keen to bolster his squad for the one-day races and could turn to the versatile talents of Teisj Benoot.

The Lotto-Soudal rider is out of contract this year and is yet to sign an extension. Team manager Marc Sergeant is keen to keep hold of Benoot but is worried that he could be lured away by a big money deal.

Benoot has also admitted that he will look at his options before deciding on his future, something that concerns Sergeant.

'The point of departure is that we want to keep Tiesj, but there are hijackers on the coast,' Sergeant told Het Laatste Nieuws.

'I have to confess that I am not at ease. I hear that Dave Brailsford is looking for Belgians. I don't know why, but Benoot could be a target.'

The 25-year-old is widely regarded as one of Belgium's best one-day Classics specialists and has even been touted as the 'next Tom Boonen' by his home press.

So far, Benoot's palmares only includes one victory, the 2018 Strade Bianche, but he has placed in the top 10 at the Tour of Flanders on three occasions. 

A versatile rider, Benoot has also done well in the hillier Ardennes Classics and has finished in the top 20 on General Classification at the Tour de France.

This ability could see Team Ineos present Benoot with a lucrative contract offer, however Sergeant said that such a move may affect the young rider's ability to race as a team leader. 

'I'm worried because nobody can beat the money from Team Ineos. I do not think we can offer Tiesj anything more competitive,' said Sergeant.

'With us, he can be the leader everywhere. But it is clear that the market is open to Tiesj.'

Brailsford's desire to bring Classics talent into his Team Ineos setup is mirrored by his goals to strengthen their Grand Tour contingency too.

Recent Giro d'Italia winner Richard Carapaz is rumoured to have been offered a €1.5million contract to join Team Ineos, 10 times the amount he is currently paid by Movistar.