On 1 July 2019, Gerben Thijssen (20) and Brent Van Moer (20) will be transferring from the Lotto Soudal U23 team to the WorldTour team. Thijssen conquered the Belgian U23 road title this year, while Van Moer claimed silver at the U23 World Time Trial Championships. Both riders are currently in Mallorca on a training camp with the WorldTour team.
Kurt Van de Wouwer, head of the sports department of Lotto Soudal U23: “We have chosen to let Brent and Gerben join the December training camp, so they can already get to know the riders and staff of the WorldTour team. That will make their integration in the team much easier next year. Of course they get an adapted training schedule. Their season also starts about six weeks later than that of the pros, so that’s still far ahead. We decided to let them join the team halfway through the year to keep the pressure as low as possible. That’s something we already did in the past when for example Tim Wellens and Louis Vervaeke turned pro. In the spring there is always more pressure from outside the team, also on young riders. We want to give them the time to adapt.”
“Gerben made a strong début in the U23 category last year. He won the Top Competition race in Sint-Niklaas after beating Álvaro Hodeg in the sprint. And he and Fabio Jakobsen could both step on the podium as winner of the fourth stage of the Olympia’s Tour. Soon, we realised that Gerben was a rider for our WorldTour team. We hope he can stand his ground in bunch sprints. First, we can expect him to set good results in 1.1 or 1.HC races; in semi-Classics like the Brussels Cycling Classic.”
“Brent has loads of power, therefore he’s so good at time trialling. His silver medal at the past World Championships was a real surprise. He did much better than we had expected. He should definitely keep on working on his time trial skills, because he can still make a lot of progression. At the WorldTour team he will definitely be a big support for his teammates, although he will also get his own chance in some races to discover his own limits.”