Julius van den Berg
Julius van den Berg, born in 1996, was part of the first ever Academy roster back in 2015 and after four years in our development program he showed that he was more than ready to move up to professional level.
What about him?
Van den Berg was the first rider that the management of the Academy talked to when they were building the team ahead of the 2015 season. He came straight from the Junior ranks and already then we knew that we were dealing with a potential WorldTour talent.
How did he perform?
In his first two seasons with the Academy van den Berg raced some of the most important races in our calendar, playing a teammate role and at the same time acquiring high-quality knowledge. Already as a second-year U23 he showed his potential and powered to fifth in UCI 1.2 Profronde van Noord-Holland, a race that he would win two years later.
The level that van den Berg showed in the last two seasons with the Academy was really impressive and after a 2017 where he served as a trusted lead-out man of Quick-Step’s Fabio Jakobsen and claimed the U23 Dutch time trial title, he exploded in 2018 and took a total of six wins before moving up to the pro-ranks. The Dutch all-rounder seized a stage win in the Tour de Normandie and powered to fourth overall and Best Young Ride before scoring again in Tour de Bretagne’s stage 6 after a day-long breakaway against a strong field filled by many professional riders. He showed himself as the most complete rider of the category and put on fantastic performances in races like Paris Roubaix before wrapping up his days as U23 by claiming the Dutch National road race title the day before moving up to the WorldTour.
What was next after the Academy?
Team EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale had been following Julius’ progression for a while, and it was clear that it would be a perfect fit for him in order to keep on growing as a bike rider. The impressive run that van den Berg went through in the first part of the 2018 season made it clear that he belonged to WorldTour level straight away, and that is why the American squad offered him a contract from July the 1st in order to immediately join the team in some of the top races of the calendar. The Binck Bank Tour was his first race in Team EF’s colors, and little he waited in order to impress the world of cycling by finishing second in stage 5 and featuring the breakaway in three out of the six road stages. Julius kept on progressing during the upcoming seasons, becoming a valuable piece for the team. His combativity and selfless work was rewarded with a stage win at the 2021 Tour of Poland, taking it home from the breakaway.