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Cycling Weekly
Cycling Weekly
Adam Becket

Lotto Dsnty set to swap Ridley for Orbea bikes in 2024 after riders had to compete on 'old' time trial bikes

Lotto Dstny at the Vuelta a España

Lotto Dstny are set to ride Orbea bikes in place of Ridley models in 2024, according to reports in the Belgian press.

The ProTeam have a deal with Belgian bike manufacturer Ridley until 2026, but are looking to end the contract early, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

A short statement said: "Lotto Dstny confirms that the team will no longer be racing on Ridley Bikes in 2024. Seen the recent passing of Tijl De Decker and the impact it has on the team, we do not wish to give any interviews about that for the moment. 

"However, the team would like to emphasise the good cooperation it’s had with Ridley over all those years."

Reasons cited by Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws included riders having to compete on an "old" time trial bike for "several years" due to delays in delivery of a new iteration, and financial motivations. 

In its place, Basque company Orbea will reportedly step in. Spanish men's ProTeam Euskaltel-Euskadi and German women's Continental squad Ceratizit-WNT also ride Orbea bikes at the moment, but the company is also a big player in the world of mountain biking. 

Lotto has ridden Ridley bikes for over a decade, since 2012, with the equipment delivering big wins for the likes of André Greipel and Caleb Ewan over the years.

However, HLN reports that there were issues with delays to the new time trial bike, the Dean, with riders forced to use the "old" version for longer than planned. 

The new iteration of the Dean was announced in August, it was spotted being used by Lotto riders at the Critérium du Dauphiné in June. However, reports state that the new bike was not "immediately available in every size."

The newest Ridley Dean time trial bike, according to the brand, saw a decrease in aerodynamic drag with adjustments made in response to UCI rule amendments. 

The Belgian squad also feel they can get more money out of a new partnership, according to the Belgian press.

“Our cooperation with Ridley will indeed stop by the end of the year”,  Lotto CEO Stéphane Heulot said on Tuesday. “We will make the switch to a new bike brand. But not so much because we’re not happy about the quality of the Ridley bike. We’ve had 12 amazing years together with lots of victories. 

"We choose for another brand because we want to improve financially. That is needed to keep our current squad. The team will be racing on Ridley till the end of 2023 and we want to get some more victories together this season to say goodbye in a beautiful way.”"

“It is certainly a complicated matter,” Stephane Heulot, the CEO of Lotto, earlier told HLN. 

The deal between Ridley and Lotto was extended until 2026 in 2021. At that time, then Lotto CEO John Lelangue said: "As a Belgian company that focuses on innovation, quality and performance, it is a perfect match with what Lotto Soudal stands for. Just like us, Ridley has the passion to take Belgian cycling to an even higher level. This has already been expressed in the many successes that we have achieved in a partnership of almost fifteen years.”

However, that deal will come to an end soon.

Lotto have extensively tested Orbea's bikes in recent months, according to HLN. Last week, star sprinter Arnaud De Lie extended his contract to the end of 2026, a decision which was reportedly influenced by Lotto decision to change bikes. 

De Lie said: "The project the management has proposed to me for the coming years is promising. The team goes into every detail and continues to invest in performance, to bring out the best in its riders. All these things made me happy to prolong."

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