"Arnaud undeniably has talent. But that mental click also had to happen" - Recent rest proves a massive boost for Arnaud De Lie

After coming into the 2024 season with much anticipation and expectation, Arnaud De Lie struggled during the spring. Once it was revealed the Belgian had been battling Lyme Disease, an enforced break was on the cards and since returning, De Lie has been back to his best.

“Arnaud needed a kind of 'reset',” explains Lotto Dstny's Nikolas Maes in conversation with Wielerflits. “But don't think that he has been sitting still for a full month after Gent Wevelgem. In total he did not train for about two and a half weeks. It was the mindset that had to change a bit. Arnaud undeniably has talent, we all know that. But that mental click also had to happen, the frustrations had to go away for a while. And that reset and the last competition block were ideal for that.”

Having failed to take a victory before his enforced sabbatical post-Gent Wevelgem, De Lie has since added three wins in his six race days with two third placed finishes and a fourth placed finish in his other outings post-Lyme Disease. “That shows that he is riding around with confidence again," Maes explains. "After Gent Wevelgem, Arnaud was able to take his time to train properly and was declared completely recovered. We can see from his values ​​that things are going well and that confidence is gradually returning. The latter must really be present in him. Whether it's a sprint in the Québec Grand Prix or the Circuit de Wallonie, if he achieves his values ​​​​in the sprint, then he is fine. But you only win races if you also have that mental confidence.”

Nevertheless, there is still much more to come from the 22-year-old Belgian according to Maes. "In principle, he should still be able to improve. He is fine and is competing for prizes again, but it is also a certain level of races that he is now riding," he explains. “But those are details, right? If Arnaud is in good condition, he will compete for prizes again at the highest level. We all know now that he has that in him and that will come back soon.”

Ahead of his Tour de France debut later this summer, De Lie is set to travel to the Tour de Suisse. “The main intention is for him to gain some extra body in Switzerland. He can certainly end up there in the gruppetto, but he must above all get that feeling back with the bigger work. The Tour is the highest level there is. You can't blame that boy for having to go from the Tour of Limburg to the Tour. That's far too big a step, I think. Switzerland fits perfectly into our plan,” Maes explains.

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