Robyn Davidson 7 Oct 2021
First female sports director in top tier of modern male cycling moves from role at Israel Start-Up Nation.
Cherie Pridham will become a sports director for Lotto Soudal in 2022 after a season with Israel Start-Up Nation.
‘If you can’t beat the Belgians, join them’, were Pridham's first words after the announcement. ‘It was absolutely not on my radar to direct a Belgian team, but when the Lotto Soudal project was presented to me, I was immediately charmed by it.
‘I raced a lot in Belgium. I know how much cycling means for Belgian people. I am not afraid, I am ready to make a positive contribution to the team’s future.’
As a professional cyclist, Pridham completed eight editions of the Tour de France Féminin and two Giro Rosas.
Commenting on what she would bring to the team, Pridham noted, ‘If I can just bring some small touches, some more modern things into the organisation, that could already make a big difference. The important thing is that all riders and staff feel they are part of a successful team.
‘We will have fun with Lotto Soudal, but with the riders we need to go to war as well. And we can win the battle.’
Pridham, who immersed herself in managing and directing after a 15-year career as a pro rider, will bring something new to Lotto Soudal, according to the team's general manager, John Lelangue.
Lelangue interviewed five other candidates for the role but says he was immediately convinced Pridham was just the person they needed after his first interview with her.