"We cannot compete. We have not even made a counter-proposal" - Lotto Dstny helpless with string of star riders set to depart

The future of the Lotto Dstny team is something of a cause for concern for CEO Stephane Heulot. Attempting to compete with a small budget, worrying rumours regarding the future of sponsors and a string of star riders set to leave, times are tough despite positive on-bike performances.

“The riders who will leave next season have chosen teams with which we cannot compete. We have not even made a counter-proposal,” Heulot reveals in conversation with Sporza, referring to the reported departures of Victor Campenaerts to Team Visma | Lease a Bike, Pascal Eenkhoorn to Soudal - Quick-Step and Florian Vermeersch to UAE Team Emirates all set to take place at the end of the season, when their Lotto Dstny contracts expire.

Although Lotto Dstny were relegated at the end of the last World Tour cycle, the Belgian-based team look set to return to the top level of cycling at the end of the current one. What the team will be called or whether or not Dstny will still be around remains up in the air however, with uncertainty surrounding the future of the team's title sponsors. “We are still talking to Dstny, the door is not closed," Heulot explains of the current situation. "Cycling teams are always looking for sources of income and so are we. But we are not worried.”

Aside from the aforementioned departures that are reportedly in the works, Andreas Kron is also circulating interest according to reports, although Spring revelations Maxim van Gils and Lennert van Eetvelt have both recently re-signed longer term deals with the team. “But we don't have the largest budget of the peloton, so it is important not to spend all our money,” Heulot concludes. “We have recorded the riders we want to keep for a longer period. 23 riders are currently under contract for next season. We will announce the contract extensions in the coming days.”

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