Deceuninck – Quick-Step has signed the 28-year-old Belgian on a contract through 2023.
Louis Vervaeke has been a pro since 2014, racking up several strong results in the past years. At the most recent Giro d’Italia he came close to a podium on the Sestola stage before finishing in the top 20 overall. Vervaeke has shown his climbing skills on multiple occasions in the past seasons, the Deutschland Tour KOM jersey, as well as top 20 finishes at the Tirreno-Adriatico, Volta a Catalunya and Giro dell’Emilia serving as testimony of what he’s capable of.
Patrick Lefevere, CEO of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, sees Louis as a great asset of the team for the next two years: “Louis is a really friendly guy, always with a big smile. We have a long-term vision to fight for a Grand Tour overall victory, and for that we also need strong helpers for the mountains. Louis possesses a lot of qualities, can support our leaders on the climbs and can maybe go for his own chance whenever an opportunity arises. We hope to give Louis a nice environment in which he feels well and where he can further develop.”
Louis is extremely proud to see his childhood dream come true:
Every rider looks up to Deceuninck – Quick-Step.
“When I was little, I bought myself a blue jersey and raced while wearing it with my brother and friends in the street, and now getting to wear this jersey in the pro peloton is incredible. As a child I liked sports a lot. At first, I rode horses. Then I made the step to tennis. Mentally I thought it was a hard sport, also my brother was maybe better than me and I didn’t really like that. To keep our condition, we went mountain biking during our tennis camp, so I just rolled into cycling like that. In the beginning I started participating at races where I couldn’t follow the others, but for me it was just such a nice feeling to go out training on my own or with friends and to rack up kilometers on the bike. I really liked the sport.”
“Now I have some experience already, having ridden for different teams until now. Every squad has a different story, a different way of working and every time you learn something. I’m really looking forward to learning new things in the Wolfpack, racing with these riders and getting to know the staff.”
“I hope to make a step forward in my climbing skills during the next few years. I will mostly help and work for the leaders in the team wherever and whenever possible. When I became a professional cyclist in July 2014, I just missed out on breaking through as a top rider in the mountains. So I’m happy to keep on improving and helping the other guys, and then we will see how it goes.”
Vervaeke is extremely grateful for the trust put in him: “I’ve always regarded Patrick as an inspiring person. He’s really known in Belgium and I’ve always been a silent admirer of how he leads the team and how he protects his riders. He’s a bit of a father to his riders, and that has also been one of my motivations to come to the team. The first time I had a long conversation with Patrick was really pleasant, I immediately felt at home and welcome. The time during our conversation went by so fast, it all went smoothly.”
“Seeing how many times this team wins and how united everyone is here, is just incredible. When I came to the service course I saw how the mechanics and soigneurs have this bond, they’re enjoying the time together and there’s time for a laugh in between working. You feel that it’s something special, it’s a family and that really attracts me and makes me confident for next season”, Louis concluded.
Photo credit: ©Sigfrid Eggers