IN: Alex Braybrooke, 18 (Great Britain), Jonas Castrique, 18 (Zannata-Lotto Menen), Stan Dewulf, 18 (Zannata-Lotto Menen), Robbe Ghys, 18 (Sport en Moedig Genk), Mikkel Honoré, 18 (Danemark), Kevin Inkelaar, 18 (Netherlands/Avia WCup), Ward Jaspers, 18 (Balen BC), Bjorg Lambrecht, 18 (Avia WCup), Edward Planckaert, 20 (BCV Works-Soenens), Harm Vanhoucke, 18 (Young CT), Thomas Vereecken, 18 (Avia-WCup), Aaron Verwilst, 18 (Tielt)
OUT: Jean-Albert Carnevali (CC Chevigny), Maarten Craeghs, Laurens De Plus (Etixx-OPQS), Frederik Frison, Alexander Geuens, Mathias Krigbaum, Hayden McCormick (ONE Pro Cycling), Ruben Pols (Topsport Vlaanderen), Brecht Ruyters, George Tansley, Dries Van Gestel (Topsport Vlaanderen), Kenneth Van Rooy (Topsport Vlaanderen), Massimo Vanderaerden (Veranclassics-Ekoi), Dieter Verwilst
A giant reshuffle leaves Lotto with one of their youngest teams in years. 11 of the 24 riders are first year U23 riders and another 7 of them will be 2nd year riders. That makes 75% of their team coming into 2016 with 1 or less years in the U23 ranks. The returning riders are no super stars. Riders such as Steff Cras and Enzo Wouters are really going to need to step it up for next season while Vereecken was one of the most consistent juniors this past season.
It looks like it is going to be an interesting year for Kurt van de Wouwer's team but a lot of younger riders will get chances in bigger races, which can only help them.
IN: Rémi Aubert, 20 ans (AC Bisontine)
Alexandre Ballet, 20 ans (Team Hörmann)
Mickaël Plantureux, 21 ans (VC Rouen 76)
Romain Seigle, 21 ans (AC Bisontine)
Emilien Viennet, 23 ans (AVC Aix-en-Provence)
OUT: Jérémy Maison (FDJ), Hugo Hofstetter (Cofidis), Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Thomas Bouteille (AC Bisontine), Mathieu Le Lavandier (WAW Pro Cycling), Maxime Le Lavandier (WAW Pro Cycling)
Just seeing the riders that are leaving, fans would see that Doubs-based CC Etupes is in for a long year ahead. They are sending their three star riders to the pro ranks in Maison, Martin and Hofstetter while the Le Lavandier brothers, who were a shadow of themselves this year compared to years past, are off to a new continental team, We Are Wales.
While the team is looking lighter off the bat, they still have some strengths. Leo Vincent proved himself in the mountains with final stage wins in both the Tour des Pays de Savoie and Ronde de l'Isard. Damien Touze was a standout junior and should be better in the one day races next season.Viennet is bouncing back after a tumultuos fall from the World Tour ranks with FDJ and will be looking for his first full season of racing after barely getting any racing kilometers the past few seasons.
IN: Cédric Beullens, 18 (Junior, Kon. Balen BC)
Michael Cools, 21 (BCV Works-Soenens)
Cédric Defreyne, 20 (BCV Works-Soenens)
Jordan De Haes, 18 (Junior, Davo Cycling Team)
Nico Houtteman, 19 (VZW Tieltse Rennersclub)
Célestin Leyman, 18 (Junior, APT-Spie Douterloigne)
Guillaume Seye, 19 (VL Technics-Experza-Abutriek)
Bjarne Vanacker, 18 (Junior, Zannata-Lotto CT Menen)
Gauthier Vandevyvere, 18 (CT Spider King Ieper)
OUT: Gilles Loncin (arrêt), Miel Pyfferoen (Atom 6-Tops Antiek), Maxime Farazijn (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Aimé De Gendt (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise)
Lots and lots of Belgians...with two of their big guns in Farazijn and De Gendt going to Topsport, riders like Ben Declercq, Christopher Noppe and Piet Allegaert will need to take more of a leading role. Looking at the new junior arrivals, Cedric Beullens is one of the ones to watch after winning the Keizer der Juniors.
IN: Léo Danès, 18 (BIC 2000), Aurélien Doleatto, 18 (Bourg-en-Bresse Ain Cyclisme), Kevin Geniets, 18 (LP 07 Schifflange), Guillaume Millasseau, 18 (Argenteuil Val de Seine 95), Romain Pommelet, 18 (EC Plouha-Lanvollon), Martin Alexander Salmon, 18 (Wheelsports-RV Queidersbach)
OUT: Nico Denz (Ag2r La Mondiale) François Bidard (AG2R La Mondiale), Mattia Viel (Unieuro-Wilier-Trevigiani), Freddy Ovett (SEG Racing), Benjamin Jasserand (retire) and Julien Roux (CR4C Roanne)
The hills are alive with the sounds of new U23 riders in Chambery. Chambery CF, which has been tied to the Ag2R foundation since just about forever, is bringing in a new batch of young recruits to replace a successful class including Denz and Bidard graduating to the pro team. They will have just one non-U23 rider (MTB specialist Jordan Sarrou) on the roster and have some of the biggest hopes in French cycling returning including Nans Peters and Aurelien Paret-Peintre.
With the exception of Leo Danes who comes from BIC 2000, all of their new signings are juniors with German Martin Salmon and Luxembourger Kevin Geniets being the ones with the best junior results.
The team will most likely not be overwhelming and win the Coupe de France DN1 but with the amount of young talent they have, their riders will be bound to break through somewhere.
More to come in the next few days...
More to come in the next few days...