The talented Belgian rider was already part of the Academy already in the last part of 2019 as a trainee and he showed what he was capable of by taking a stage win and placing third overall. That set the foundation for 2020, which will feature the next step of his cycling journey that started at 9 years of age.

How and when did you start cycling?
I started cycling at the age of 9 and back then I was part of the local cycling school in Tienen. A friend of mine wanted to get into cycling and asked me to come along to Tuesday’s evening training sessions. I feel an instant connection with it and shortly after I was already competing in some local races.

Which were the clubs/teams you were part of before joining the Academy?
My run at Olympia Tienen (the team behind the cycling school) lasted eight years, and it wasn’t until I was in my second year in the Junior category that I left the team and move to Forte Young Cycling Team. There I could take part in more hard races and racing in an international calendar. Finally, I was part of GM Recycling (firstly names VL Technics) for two years. The team offered me a program in which I could develop on all terrains and be part of a variety of races, from Roubaix to the Alps …

What are the most valuable lessons that you have learned from those days?
During my days at Olympia Tienen, we did a race named ‘3 Giorni Orobica’ in Italy. There I learned that the Junior level of racing, especially when going uphill, was much higher than I thought and that it would take me more uphill training to compete with the best. The next years I learned that choosing some specific periods in the season and peaking to those periods is essential to get the best results in big races because the peloton is on such a high level that you can only make the difference with a top shape.