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Lelangue, who will leave the Belgian outfit at the close of this season, shot back at former Lotto-Soudal general manager Marc Sergeant, who last week posted a barbed message on Twitter alluding that Lelangue was the cause of the team’s current WorldTour points predicament.
“To be honest I can take this as a compliment coming from a specialist in this matter like you,” Lelangue countered to Sergeant. “Before I arrived (also after) you already did most of the work and helped to create those holes #history #honest #truthwillsooncome.”
Lotto-Soudal looks doomed to relegation in the waning days of 2022.
The Belgian outfit is about 1,000 UCI points outside of the “safe” zone of the top-18-ranked teams in the three-year rolling tally of points with less than three weeks left of racing in the calendar year.
Last week, Sergeant posted a message on social media, suggesting that Lelangue is the root of the team’s troubles.
In 2021, Sergeant was ushered out the door with Lelangue given complete control of the operation. According to Lelangue, he left the team by mutual consent.
Sergeant refused to comment on Thursday following the news of Lelangue’s departure, but in the evening he couldn’t resist and took to Twitter to make his feelings clear.
“Imagine, you get a nice ship, it was well maintained for decades and yet you start to make a hole in it,” said Sergeant.
“While the ship is sinking, get a new boat first and then quickly leave the sinking ship,” he concludes. He added two hashtags: “#mission accomplished” and “#scandalous.”
In the meantime, Lelangue — who worked previously at the Tour de France and at Team BMC and Phonak — confirmed he will join the management group behind the Tour de Pologne, a decision he said he made in July.
“A few weeks ago, at the end of the Tour de France, I took the decision to step down from my role as CEO of Lotto-Soudal at the end of the season,” Lelangue wrote on social media. “I informed the Board in August and I want to sincerely thank [Belgian lottery] for their confidence and support during those four years.”
There is no official confirmation of who will take over the helm of the Belgian team, set to race as Lotto-Dstny for the next three seasons. Axel Merckx has been mentioned in the Belgian media, but he did not comment.