It is a bizarre day for cycling team Lotto-Soudal. The team started again today – one year after the death of teammate Bjorg Lambrecht – in the Tour of Poland. The ride started with a minute of silence.
Lelangue: “Important for us to be here”
On August 5, 2019, the terrible news about the death of Bjorg Lambrecht (22) arrived. In Poland they have not yet forgotten the tragic accident and of course that applies even more to his team Lotto-Soudal.
“Being here on the same date and in the same place is of course emotional,” manager John Lelangue told Sporza. “It is important for us to be here and to travel with a strong team. As a tribute to Bjorg, but also to his family, the organizers and the Polish public who helped us last year.”
“That’s why we want to be well represented here. It is emotionally hard, but we have to go further. Bjorg is still with us every day and that will be
because it is not just a sporting loss. Bjorg was a real member of the Lotto-Soudal family. He was also a real leader, and someone who sticks in your memory. ”
The first stage of the Tour of Poland will be a great tribute to Bjorg Lambrecht. The start was given in the same stadium where the fatal stage started last year, Bjorg’s number will no longer be worn and the first stage started with a minute of silence.
“The organization here did a lot last year and again this year,” said Lelangue. “There was also a celebration of the accident and the youth classification is named after Bjorg. The latter is the most beautiful tribute for a young, promising rider.”
Wellens: “He made so much progress in the Walloon classics”
Tim Wellens put the Tour of Poland on his record 4 years ago. 1 year ago he was not there, but that does not make the lack any less. “It’s been 1 year now and we are still thinking about Bjorg,” says Wellens.
“But I said it before, we shouldn’t be here in the Tour of Poland thinking about him. We all think about him, but life goes on and we are here again. ”
The big gap left by Lambrecht is of course no small. “Of course, he was having a fantastic season, he made so much progress during the Walloon classics. It is an important link that is no longer in the race. Not only as a rider, but also as a person. We all miss him. ”
Let’s talk about sports, what are Wellens’s plans in Poland? “It’s my first game after the restart, but the training felt good. Now we have to wait and see how my competitors were training. The penultimate stage will be the most important for the rankings. It will be a second game.”
IN PICTURE: Lambrecht also has his place in Poland this year