Cycling

Eduardo Sepúlveda’s online job search pays off with a deal with Lotto-Dstny

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Eduardo Sepúlveda was facing a raceless future following the collapse of Drone Hopper-Androni at the end of this season.

So the Argentine took to the web to look for work, publishing job calls.

That tactic paid off after Lotto-Dstny confirmed his arrival, along with German cyclist Johannes Adamietz, to join the roster for 2023.

“These two riders will give our team more body in races with many meters of altitude,” sporting director Kurt Van de Wouwer said on Wednesday. “They may not be the two flashiest names, but they are worth more than their place on our team. Sepúlveda has a lot of experience and is very ambitious to get results in difficult races. He also knows what it means to work for a leader. Adamietz has shown himself as a continental cyclist among the professionals.

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Faced with the collapse of his team, Sepúlveda posted a message on Twitter this fall indicating that his services were available.

He said he decided to go public after things were slowing down in an attempt to find a new team during the fall window when teams start to fill out their rosters.

“I am looking for a team for next year. Cycling is my passion. I still have a lot of miles on my legs and am highly motivated,” she wrote, asking the public to spread the word.

The appeal was retweeted more than 700 times, which might have helped when negotiations with Lotto-Dstny began.

A professional since 2013, Sepúlveda raced between 2018 and 2020 with Movistar before moving to Gianni Savio’s Drone Hopper project in 2021 in the second-tier ProTour league.

However, the veteran Italian coach’s team collapsed this fall after the title sponsor defaulted on payments. It looks like Savio will be able to cobble together a team to compete in the third-tier continental league, but the best riders on the team were told to look elsewhere.

“I am extremely motivated to be a part of Lotto-Dstny,” Sepúlveda said. “This team has a beautiful history. It will be my first time in a Belgian team and I am really looking forward to meeting everyone. I am ready to help my teammates achieve good results and fight for victory myself.”

Lotto-Dstny, renamed Lotto Soudal, faces possible relegation from the WorldTour from 2023, although the team will see invites to the main races after being ranked just outside the top 18 ranked teams.

Big names like Caleb Ewan, Arnaud De Lie and Thomas De Gendt remain, while Jacopo Guarnieri (Groupama-FDJ) and Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma) join.

The team is also continuing its search for a new general manager to replace the departing John Lelangue.

The Belgian outfit recently turned down an offer from former pro Andrei Tchmil to take the reins, and the search continues. Lotto Soudal is currently led by sports manager Van de Wouwer and commercial director Yana Seel.

Astana Qazaqstan expands with two corridors

Two Kazakh riders, Andrey Zeits and Gleb Brussenskiy, have extended their contracts with Astana Qazaqstan for one more season to 2023, officials said on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old Andrey Zeits, the most experienced Kazakhstani rider in the peloton, has had a solid season with the team being part of the team at the Tour de France where he provided good support to Alexey Lutsenko.

Gleb Brussenskiy, 22, is also staying for another season.

The team is not seeing much action in the cycling market, with only Luis León Sánchez (Bahrain Victorious) and Martin Laas (Bora-Hansgrohe) as the main signings.

Vincenzo Nibali has retired and Stephan De Bod is moving to EF Education-EasyPost.

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