Velogames season 2022: A team by team review: Lotto-Soudal
They might have been relegated but this is far from a catastrophe. Their UCI points collected over the last year classified them as the best pro-continental team. A title that guarantees them invitation in all the Grand Tours and World Tour races. Like Alpecin-Felix and Arkea Samsic have done in the past, they also have the luxury of refusing invitations to concentrate on other more juicy races in terms of UCI points.
That being said, Lotto Soudal contains with its team plenty of classic riders, From Florian Vermeersch, to Sylvain Moniquet the style varies.
The biggest challenge that Lotto-Soudal provided to Velogames 2022 was the wide array of 4 credit points riders. Ranging from lucky choices to waste of coins, the performances varied over the course of the season.
Arnaud De Lie
He has been the sunshine, they ray of hope for the Belgian team this year. The 20 year old rider has an explosive first season among the elite.
After a good 8th place in Minerva Classic- De Panne which brought him 216 Velogames points, he went a little quite in his first cobblestone races in Gent and Flanders.
He then brought in 102 points from his 14th place in Schdelprij.
From then on, except for A DNF in Morbihan, he kept on getting better. 7th In Frankfurt (228pts), 4th in Tro Bro Leon (210pts). 6th in Dwaars Van Hagelaand and Circuit Franco Belge (both 165 pts).
In the meantime, the neo-pro sprinter was also winning races not on the Velogames calendars in Belgium.
His 315 points with his 4th place in the Bretagne classics Ouest was his best performance of the season. He then earned 132 points in primus classics before a DNF in Paris Tours Elites.
20th best superclassico rider with points scored in 8 out of 12 races!
Verdict 2023: At 10 credit points, he turned out to be a super deal in the superclassico 2022. With a significant price rise expected in 2023, his selection should be strictly for races where no big climbing effort is needed. Unless, he worked on that too!
This is just a curious case that shows: end-results matter in Velogames. One if not,the most offensive and in form rider in the early spring classics only brought 315 points from his 4th place in Dwaars Van Vlaanderen with an addtional 90 points for the right break away move. He got an addtional 45 points in each of Gent Wevelgem and Brabantse Pijl for his break away efforts and that pretty much it.
A 3rd place in circuit Franco-Belge and a 14th place in the GP de Wallonie brought in an addtional 314 points.
Although priced fairly at 10 credit points, his total of 852 points brought in mostly over 3 races is just not enough for a rider who started 15 of the Superclassico races.
7 stage placings for a total of a total of 828 points is not enough for a rider rated at 16 credit points. His price of 4 credit points at the Tour de France was nothing near a good deal having brought back 60 coins only.
Verdict 2023: The Cobbles expert will be happy to get close to the 2021 form when he finished second at Paris-Roubaix.
Rarely, has a rider’s form been as predictable as the departing Belgian.
8th at Strade Bianche, 20th at Amstel Gold race, 9th at Scheldeprijs and 23rd at La Fleche Wallonne and 28th in Dwaars dor het Hageland brought in 663 points in the early part of the season. And then nothing else.
Verdict 2023: His new team, UAE team Emirates will be eyeing his early season form to take a considerable leap at the start of the season.
Jasper De Buyst
519 points earned through 3 races in just 8 superclassico race started is an impressive performance from a 10 credit points rider.
Verdict 2023: In the very small likelihood that he undergoes a small price drop, he will be an interesting rider to choose if risk wish to be taken.
11th in Grand Prix du Morbihan (120) , 12th in Tro Bro Leon (114) and 8th in Coppa Sabatini (147) were the only results 10 points Andreas Kron could bring.
For the puncheur that he is known to be, more were expected from the Danish in races like La Fleche Wallonne.
He nevertheless did decently with his 342 points earned in Tour De Suisse Velogames making him the 13th best rider for 8 points.
His 227 points earned for a 6 coins rider might look entertatining now, but there has been way more deceiving choices as unclassed riders.
Verdict 2023: Compared to 2020 and 2021, his 2022 season has been a tad little bit disappointing. His late form surge in the Italian classics is a clear indication that the talent is here and ready to sting in 2023.
The new puncheur in town. His superclassico season can be resumed to him getting velogames points in the La Fleche Wallonne (27) and Liege Bastogne Liege (180 from break away) to comfortably earning his place in top 20 in Canada and GP de Wallonie
After frustrating reasults in Catalunya and Itzulia at the cost of 6 credits, he was an absolute hit in the Giro. 3rd best 4 coiners, he earned more than team-mate stage winner Thomas De Gendt.
Another decent performance in Poland 133 points- 29 best overall closed his season.
Verdict 2023: He might again go under the radar as a 4 coins rider for the grand tour.
After a rather modest superclassico campaign 204 points, the Belgian earned himself the best coin riders of the Vuelta title, courtesy of 5 stage placings.
Verdict 2023: He will proabably have one more grand Tour outing as 4 coiner. This time, we know.
Harm Vanhoucke, Harry Sweeny, Brent Van Moer, Filipo Conca
These guys are the perfect example of throwing the dice and backing which ever number comes out. Super classico races or stage races, Lotto Soudal likes to place men in the break away and it is very often one of these guys.
2 horrible seasons ruined by crashes and each time he came back. We have not heard much from him since being left out of the Australia team for the World Championship except for a win in Germany.
Verdict 2023: Forget all numbers about him. Him finishing the Tour de France despite sustaining severe crashes is an indication of the fighter that he is. He is preparing himself for 2023 and watchout for him starting from Milan San Remo!