Jesper Rasch landed a spot in the 2019 Academy roster after completing a traineeship with the team at the end of the 2018 season. However, the journey of the talented 20-year Dutchman goes way back, and it did not start with cycling precisely. “Even though that I was on the bike since an early, my main sporting activity as a kid was football. At the age of nine, I was scouted by Ajax and I played at HFC Haarlem, at the highest level in the Netherlands. Some years later I lost the motivation for the game, so I turned into my other passion, cycling, and at age 15 I decided to go full gas with it”.
Rasch slowly gained popularity in the national scene while he was riding for HRC Excelsior first and BRC Kennemerland second, with the first Crit victories coming along the way. Halfway in his first year as a Junior, the call from Monkey Town came and Jesper decided to join one of the best Junior team in the country. “At Monkey-Town I rode the best program I could wish for as a Junior. We raced all over Europe together with my current teammate Ide Schelling”. The Dutch sprinter stayed in the same colors as he kicked off his U23 days, but unfortunately, a broken wrist stopped his development in his first year in the category. For his second year, he switched to another well-known club in the Dutch scene, West Frisia, with whom he dominated the national scene and earned an opportunity with the Academy.
So many years within the world of cycling have taught Jesper Rasch some valuable life-lessons. “In the first years in the sport, it is very important to have fun, because at the end of the day those will be really important in your development. Cycling gives you a winning mentality that goes with you when you jump off the bike, and that’s something really important to have”.