Pro Cycling: First Team Bans Alcohol

Lotto Soudal bans alcohol for the whole team including top to bottom of the organization, becoming the first team to do so in pro cycling.

Alcohol was anyway banned for riders of the Belgian team. Now, the ban is extended to include the whole organization meaning mechanics, soigneurs, directors, and other team staff.

The new alcohol policy means that members of the Lotto Soudal pro cycling team are not allowed to consume alcohol while representing the team at training camps and races. 

The only exception to this rule is victories, birthdays and special events where champagne is allowed. The lead director on each raise is to decide on what is a special event.

Lotto Soudal CEO John Lelangue sharing his ideas on the new alcohol policy says many companies have adopted the a similar approach to alcohol while working and that most employees also thought this was a good idea.

One reason for the ban is to increase safety.

Almost every staff member has to drive a car at certain times of the day. Then it seems better to ban alcohol. Every staff member wears clothing from the team with our sponsors during the races. We are all Lotto-Soudal ambassadors,” said Mr. Lelangue, as per, Cycling News.

A comment that reveals the deep-rooted beliefs about alcohol’s effects and the alcohol norm – even in pro sports like cycling – Mr. Lelangue also said that the “friendliness” of the team was not affected by their new alcohol policy and everyone could drink coffee together instead of alcohol.

If anyone breaks the rule, there will not be an immediate dismissal, but, the chances for contract renewal in the next year will be affected.