The two-time Belgian Champion talked about growing up supporting the Wolfpack, signing with the team and his goals for next year.

“This is a great opportunity for me to be joining Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

A look through the history of the team shows that they have a tradition of working with sprinters, so I am very happy to be joining them. As a Belgian it is a big thing to be riding for Quick-Step, and when I was young, I went three or four times to the annual press conference and team unveiling in Kortrijk, so it is a bit of a dream come true.

I haven’t really thought too much about bringing my national champions jersey to the team. But now that I think about it, I remember seeing Tom Boonen wearing the Tri-colour for Quick-Step, and I am happy that I can do the same and it will be even more special with Remco having the time trial one within the same team.

If you see how the team took care of Fabio Jakobsen and Mark Cavendish in recent Grand Tours – it will be really nice to have a team and that Wolfpack spirit around.

I also get to ride with my best friend again – Bert Van Lerberghe, who will hopefully help me with some lead-outs, and I am looking forward to showing what we can do together.

I started cycling when I was really young, and I was always riding. I kept telling my mother that I wanted to do some races and she kept telling me that I had to wait until I was 12 years old. Then when it was time to race, I joined a team, and it was very exciting. I rode cyclo-cross early on, which I was good at (a junior national champion), but I was getting better results on the road. Cyclo-cross is still a love of mine though and I hope it will be possible to do some races in the winter, but only a few as I know the road is what matters most.

When I was young, I took part in some other sports. I rode some motocross but not competitively, and I played some football. I still follow both sports a little and I support Zulte Waregem, who are not the best team in Belgium, but they are close to my home. Other than that, I have a quiet life at home – cycling does not leave much time for much else.

I now have a three-year agreement with the Wolfpack, so I am hoping that will give me some time and stability to progress with my career further. Coming into a new team and environment, there is always something new that I can pick up, be it some advice, a new technique, or some new equipment. Gent-Wevelgem is a race I have always admired and I would like to have it on my palmares, so that will be my first big target of the coming season.”


Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images

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