Jenthe Biermans

Who?

Typical Flandrien but from Geel, in Belgium.

What about him?

Great talent. He came to our team with the Belgian title and a Tour of Flanders win – both at junior level – under his belt. Expectations regarding him in Belgium were pretty high, so it was a good decision to start his road to the pros with our Academy!

How did he perform?

He invested a lot and that was seen by our performance staff. The first time he shined was at Paris-Roubaix 2015. He was leading the race solo on the Carrefour de l’Arbre, but a puncture kept him from winning. He finished second and that gave him and the team a huge mental boost. A second place at the Belgium road championships and a fifth place at Paris-Tours U23 showed us that Jenthe was a huge one-day classic talent.

During the second year at the Academy, he grew into a leading role within the rider group and developed not only as a rider but more importantly as a person. He matured and seemed ready for the next step. At the Ster van Zwolle, his first race of the season, he broke his hand. This took him out of action for a long period. But he came back strong, with a big focus on tackling Paris-Roubaix again. He went one on one against Filippo Ganna in Roubaix, but the Italian took the victory solo and Jenthe won the sprint for second. If you finish twice in Paris-Roubaix U23, then you know you are something special! It proves you have a speciality, a foundation to build on.

What was next after the Academy?

There was interest from all over the place for Jenthe. But we took it step by step. A traineeship at Wanty-Group Gobert made him aware of what pro cycling is all about. A mix of racing with the Academy and Wanty put him even more on the map during the 2016 season. Katusha was one of the WorldTour teams showing interest and they had a great plan for his development. During the Tour de France, things quickly became concrete and soon after that Jenthe was signing with one of the best teams in the world. At Katusha-Alpacin they have a long-term plan with Jenthe and hopefully one day he can better his second places at Paris-Roubaix U23 and score a Roubaix victory among the pros.