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Gallery: Check out Lotto-Soudal's special 2021 team bikes

News
20 Jan 2021
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Lotto-Soudal have given their team leaders special bikes again, and they're beautiful

Words: Joe Robinson Photography: FacePeeters

If the world was your oyster and you could sign for any men's WorldTour cycling team, who would you pick? Trek-Segafredo could be a sound choice as it means you will get to wear the best looking kit in the peloton. Ineos Grenadiers could be a good call as you are guaranteeing yourself a decent wage. Or maybe Deceuninck-QuickStep... just think about all the free flooring you could get.

For me, I would pick Lotto-Soudal. Not just because they are the thinking cyclist's Belgian WorldTour team of choice but, also, because they bestow special bikes on their team leaders.

Like 2020, Lotto-Soudal will be handing out custom painted Ridley bikes to their team leaders: Philippe Gilbert, Caleb Ewan, John Degenkolb, Tim Wellens and Thomas De Gendt.

Results from past and present meant that Ridley and Lotto-Soudal thought it best to bestow the fantastic five with custom bikes by way of reminding everyone just how good these riders are.

Australian sprinter Ewan and German Monuments man Degenkolb will be opting for Ridley's aero Noah Fast during the 2021 season, an indication of their ability to sprint really fast. Meanwhile, Gilbert, De Gendt and Wellens will be spending their seasons racing the lightweight Helium SLX.

All five riders, as well as the remaining Lotto-Soudal roster, will be riding their Ridleys finished with Campagnolo Super Record EPS 12-speed groupsets with SRM PC12 power meters fitted to the crankset.

Wheels are also provided by Campagnolo – in this case, tubular Bora Ones – while Deda supplies finishing kit and Selle Italia the saddles, a combination Lotto-Soudal has relied on for a few years previous.

Lotto-Soudal are also among the ever-growing stable of men's WorldTour teams to be providing their athletes with discs-only bikes, further proof that the bike industry is winning in its game.

Of the five custom bikes to be used by the Lotto-Soudal team leaders in 2021, you may think Degenkolb's to be the best. After all, the 'racing green metallic to copperish green' fade is the most far removed from the team's stock bikes.

However, on closer inspection, you will come to realise that it is in fact breakaway king De Gendt who has pulled the trump card with an elegant burgundy base colour offset with white decals, chosen by the Belgian himself.

'I'm really happy with this bike,' said De Gendt. 'I think the result will be super successful. In the end I also got to choose the design myself. I wanted something darker than the red bikes we previously used. The metallic shine makes it very special, especially when the sun shines on it.'

And the bike is clearly working for De Gendt as yesterday, at the Lotto-Soudal training camp, he secured the Strava King of the Mountain time on the 8km, 6% Val de Ebo climb with a time of 16:37 and average power output of 470W.