Gallopin to leave RadioShack Leopard in order to take up two year deal with Lotto Belisol
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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Gallopin to leave RadioShack Leopard in order to take up two year deal with Lotto Belisol

by VeloNation Press at 11:25 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
“The entire period from Paris-Nice until Liège-Bastogne-Liège is marked in my diary”

Tony GallopinClásica San Sebastián winner Tony Gallopin is capitalising on his strong victory by taking up a two year contract with the Lotto Belisol team. Heading there rather than remaining with his current RadioShack Leopard structure, which next year will be backed primarily by Trek, he has inked a deal to compete there until the end of the 2015 season.

“My choice for Lotto Belisol is inspired by many reasons. I’ll be in a team with tradition, that has leaders who have already proved themselves in the sprint, in the Classics as well as in the Grand Tours,” he said. “I will be able to take my own chance in the races that suit me well.”

Gallopin comes from a family with previous connections to the sport. Both his father Joël and uncle Alain were pro riders, with the latter currently working as directeur sportif for the RadioShack Leopard squad. He will presumably be moving to the Trek setup, but his nephew has decided to go in a different direction.

He has a familiar face at Lotto Belisol, though, with his longtime girlfriend Marion Rousse competing there as part of the women’s team.

Blood may be thicker than water, but it’s not stronger than love.

According to Belisol general director Nicolas Thiel, the team has a strategic reason for bringing him on board. “We have never made a secret of the fact that the presence of a French rider in the Lotto Belisol core is an important asset to us,” he explained. “That, plus the fact that Tony Gallopin is a rider with qualities and potential, definitely pleases us.”

Team manager Marc Sergeant also emphasises the importance of the move to the team. “The past year and a half the team has tried to get maximal output from the potential that was present,” he explained.

“That succeeded to a great extent, like in the Ardennes spring of 2012 with Vanendert, in last year’s Tour with Greipel and Van den Broeck and with Jürgen Roelandts as leader in the Classics. But when one of our leaders wasn’t able to perform on his best level, like Roelandts after he broke his cervical vertebra in 2012, Vanendert past spring or Van den Broeck after his crash in the Tour, we performed less well.

“With Tony Gallopin we reinforce our core considerably. He’s only 25, the past years he has shown impressive examples of his talent and there doubtlessly is still room for progression. Tony is a rider who can be put into action on many terrains.”

He sees him as potentially a rider for Paris-Nice, but also states that he should be able to fill an important role for Lotto-Belisol in the Classics.

The rider himself is excited about the move, and also the greater opportunities he believes he will have there. “The entire period from Paris-Nice until Liège-Bastogne-Liège is marked in my diary,” he said. “My favourite race? The Tour of Flanders! I see myself as a multi-dimensional rider who can perform in different types of races.”

And while he is already secure for the next two seasons, he pledged to continue racing hard for the rest of 2013. “Of course I’ll keep on performing 100% for my current employer RadioShack,” he promised.


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