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Florian Vermeersch didn’t get the cobblestone trophy at Paris-Roubaix, but his feats on the pavé this October have booked him in for a contract stretching through 2024 with Lotto Soudal.
Vermeersch was the revelation of this year’s Roubaix with his sprint into second in what was his very first full WorldTour season. The young Belgian has now been handed a three-year extension and a central role in the classics unit at Lotto Soudal.
“Florian will be an important part of our classics team and that is why we are really happy that he strongly believes in our project,” Lotto Soudal’s general manager John Lelangue said in a press statement this weekend.
“It’s nice to see which path Florian has already taken with the Lotto Soudal development team and we are looking forward to what the coming years will bring.”
With former Roubaix and Milano-Sanremo champ John Degenkolb transferring to DSM, Tosh van der Sande going to Jumbo-Visma, and Philippe Gilbert on the fade, it will be the likes of Vermeersch and the returning Victor Campenaerts carrying the classics torch at Lotto Soudal in 2022.
Vermeersch – also a town councilor and history student – is hoping his punch onto the podium at Roubaix is a sign of things to come.
“Due to bad luck and crashes, the spring classics didn’t bring what I expected of them. After a period of rest, things went much better and of course, that second place at Paris-Roubaix was the apotheosis of a successful season,” he said.
“Next year, my focus will not only be on the classics, I also want to improve my time trial skills. I think those two can be perfectly combined. And with a strong sprint, I have an additional weapon for the classics. First and foremost, I hope to start the classics next year in good shape and I want to show myself in the final.”