Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Soudal) wins Heistse Pijl (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)
Arnaud De Lie boosted his Lotto Soudal team’s chances of gaining enough UCI points to avoid relegation from the WorldTour in 2023 when he won the Heistse Pijl on Saturday , but the 20-year-old downplayed that aspect of the fifth victory of the season.
"For me, every race is important and I always come to the start with the ambition to win," De Lie said. "It’s not easy to win a race and that’s why I’m very happy that I can put this race on my record."
All of his victories in this neo-pro season have come in UCI 1.1-ranked races, which typically do not attract the highest level of riders. But with the 2023 WorldTour teams being determined by the top 18-ranked squads over the 2020-2022 seasons, every point has become important. A victory in the 1.1 races earns 125 points, five more points than a Tour de France stage win.
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Lotto Soudal were sitting 19th ahead of Israel-Premier Tech in this week’s rankings but De Lie was more impressed with beating the likes of Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech) and Mark Cavendish (Quickstep-AlphaVinyl).
De Lie took his first win this season at the Trofeo Playa de Palma, beating Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates), with Nizzolo and Michael Matthews (BikeExchange) in the mix, […]