Jacopo Guarnieri links up with Caleb Ewan at Lotto-Soudal

Italian joins Belgian squad after spending several seasons at Groupama-FDJ.

Photo: Getty Images

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Caleb Ewan has a brand new leadout man for the sprints next year with Jacopo Guarnieri, 34, signing from Groupama-FDJ on a two-year contract.

Ewan and his Lotto-Soudal team has been on the hunt for another leadout rider since the start of the year, and Guarnieri ticks a huge box with the team struggling to provide adequate support for the Australian sprinter this season. Guarnieri has spent the last six years leading out Arnaud Demare at Groupama and has become one of the most respected and reliable leadout riders in the current peloton.

Also read: Caleb Ewan: ‘I’ll be at Lotto-Soudal next year, unless they don’t want me’

In a statement released on Saturday, Lotto-Soudal confirmed the arrival of Guarnieri, adding that the veteran could also form part of the leadout for their up and coming sprinter, Arnaud De Lie.

“I was actually flattered by the interest of Lotto Dstny, which will be the name of the team from 2023 on,” Guarnieri said in a press release issued by his future team.

“This is a team with a great history of sprinters and leadout trains. The team is fully focused on winning bunch sprints and with Caleb Ewan and Arnaud De Lie there are two really fast guys for me to work for. I have had a good talk with Caleb Ewan already and I am looking forward to the next two seasons.”

“A leadout is more than just power or luck. In my former teams I was responsible for the organization of the sprint train as well. A good feeling amongst all involved in the train is crucial. Of course, there are a lot of strong guys already, but I want to bring something extra to this team with my experience.”

Also read: Lotto-Soudal plays down the notion of Caleb Ewan dissolving his contract as relegation worries continue

During the Tour de France team boss John Lelangue told VeloNews that he had also signed a new sprinter for next season. That news has not yet materialized but he welcomed the arrival of his new leadout rider.

“When working with a sprint train you always have to keep looking for improvements. The work is never done. With Caleb Ewan we have one of the fastest sprinters of the peloton, but Arnaud De Lie has proven this year that he deserves to be surrounded by strong riders who know how to guide a sprinter too. Therefore, it is crucial for us to bring some extra experience and fast legs into our sprint train.”

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