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Last year Lotto Soudal soared to new heights at the Tour with four stage wins: Thomas De Gendt scored one and Caleb Ewan took three. The squad returns to the Tour looking to build on Ewan’s sprinting success from last season, and it’s a safe bet that the Belgian squad will target the few flat stages in this year’s route. That said, the addition of wildcards Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb add a new dynamic to the squad, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Gilbert, De Gendt, and Tim Wellens all ride aggressively in breakaways throughout the race.
The paltry number of sprint stages at this year’s Tour presents a hiccup for Lotto Soudal, who will look to build in Ewan’s sprinting success for 2019. The wise plan is to unleash Gilbert, Wellens, and De Gendt for the hilly stages and keep the squad aligned for Ewan for the flats. If that happens, Lotto Soudal could bag three or more stages this year.