If Lotto did not envisage such a difficult Vuelta, it did not really count on the Spanish race to heal its WorldTour ranking. The Belgian team had opted for a very young team and preferred to preserve its leaders to bring back points in the one-day races, which are much more profitable in terms of UCI points.
This Sunday, Caleb Ewan was for example responsible for collecting 200 points for his team with his victory at the GP de Fourmies. The successes ofArnaud DeLie in Zottegem and Merksem on August 21 and 23 enabled Lotto to collect 250 points.
This hunt for points in one-day races will continue in the coming week with a very busy program: GP de Wallonie (Wednesday), Flanders Championship (Friday), Primus Classic (Saturday), Flèche de Gooik (Sunday ) and GP d’Isbergues (Sunday). Five races in which Lotto hopes to rack up the points with Ewan, De Lie, Gilbert or DeBuyst and Campenaerts.
Lotto’s objective is now to close the gap that separates it from the Cofidis team, currently 18th in the ranking. The French team has indeed lost ground in recent weeks despite the stage victory of Jesus Herrada on the Vuelta.
Cofidis now has 14,812 points, almost 700 ahead of Lotto. The Bike-Exchange (14.962), EF (14.984) and Arkea (15.118) teams are still affected by this battle. (See the full ranking)
A battle that must be won by all means, even if it means refusing to send runners to the Wollongong World Championships in Australia (Editor’s note: this is what several teams, including Lotto, have done).