The first Belgian in 36 years to win the Giro della Valle d’Aosta will join the team for the Val di Fassa training camp.

A contract that will see Mauri Vansevenant ride for the Wolfpack until the end of the 2023 season had already been negotiated last year, as was the arrangement of having him join the team and turn professional only upon finishing his Bachelor in Electromechanics. After his graduation, the next milestone immediately awaits the Torhout resident: turning professional.

“I wanted to finish school first”, the 21-year-old explained. “It’s not compatible with being a professional cyclist. I’m very happy to have my degree. For me it was a requirement. I’m comfortable now. It gives me certainty for the future. Sooner or later I’m going to need it.”

Before officially joining the Wolfpack, Mauri, the son of former pro Wim Vansevenant, already met with his new teammates on a few occasions, at the annual Calpe winter training camp, and more recently in the Flemish Ardennes, where the team gathered for an encounter with the parcours of Gent-Wevelgem and the Ronde van Vlaanderen. “It was really fun, but I’m more of a climber than a classics rider”, he added. “Last year I won the Giro della Valle d’Aosta with my U23 team EFC-L&R-Vulsteke. Riding uphill really suits me, I like those tough mountain stages. But the future will show which role will suit me best. First, there are still a lot of things I have to learn.”

Vansevenant will join his Deceuninck – Quick-Step colleagues for the team’s altitude training camp, his first activity as a professional rider. “I have got a lot of watching, listening and learning to do in the coming weeks. I’ll have to adjust to the level and the way of racing with the pros. I’m sure my teammates will help me. I feel good among the guys, there’s a good vibe in the Wolfpack. There are many Belgian riders, which makes it easy for me to integrate. They really pull me into the group. It’s a pleasure, a dream come true”, concluded the youngster.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere was obviously delighted in having Vansevenant join the Wolfpack: “Mauri did very well in the U23 category and showed his climbing skills multiple times. I’m happy to have him join the team. He is still very young so he will get the time to grow as a professional cyclist without any pressure. We don’t expect anything of him in the short term, just to steal with his eyes and to learn from the more experienced riders. He will be asked to help the team where needed; and if the opportunity presents itself to show his qualities in a mountain stage, we’re definitely not going to stop him.”

“Aside from the more experienced riders like Keisse and Devenyns, we have a very young team roster, with guys like Almeida, Bagioli, Evenepoel and now also Vansevenant. I hope to add a few youngsters to the team every year. This way we gradually rejuvenate the Wolfpack and prepare for the future”, concluded Patrick Lefevere.


Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images

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