Siebe Deweirdt, Jonathan Vervenne and Gust Lootens are all looking forward to next season.
For the 20-year-old Siebe Deweirdt, runner-up in the U23 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad this season, this is a dream come true: “I think for every cyclist it’s a dream to ride for this team, even if it’s the Devo Team. I’m grateful I got this chance after a season with quite some ups and downs. I broke my collarbone in the beginning of the year and then I needed some time to return to a good level, with Omloop I got my form back but a few weeks later I got Covid. I’m confident I’m on the right track again now.”
Having the body and capabilities for the Classics, the 20-year-old Deweirdt combines cycling with studying: “I study nutrition and dietetics, which works quite well. You never know what happens in the future, if you will be able to turn professional or not and how long a pro career can be, so I think it’s important to have something else besides cycling.”
Another promising name for the Devo Team next year is Jonathan Vervenne (19), who is combining cycling with civil engineering: “I’m coming after a first year in the U23 ranks to which I look back with satisfaction and I’m looking forward to this challenge. I hope to grow and learn a lot, but I’m sure of that as we will have the best environment to do so.”
Vervenne – who until two years ago was taking part also in swimming competitions – proved his time trial prowess this season, finishing runner-up in the Belgian Time Trial Championships for just a second: “I hope to still grow in this discipline, but also in the other aspects as I see myself as an all-round cyclist. I could handle different types of courses, not really shining on one in particular. The one-day races, classics and time trials all seem to be in my reach.”
Also Gust Lootens (21) is excited to see what next year holds: “It feels almost surreal, it’s fantastic. This season was a roller coaster, with a crash and sickness. There were also times where things went better, like the Antwerp Port Epic, as I did a good race there. It wasn’t really the season that I wanted, so joining the Devo team makes me even happier. I can’t wait for next year. Cobblestones and gravel suit me. The Flemish Ardennes are on my training routes. I also want to focus a bit more on time trials, as I think I can get more out of that.”
Team Manager Bart Roosens shared his thoughts about the three riders: “Siebe is a very intelligent cyclist, who we will be able to use in the classics. Jonathan has shown strong results as a first-year U23, and in 2023 we will focus more on time trials. Gust came very strong out of the winter period and he was on his way to showing nice things, but he wasn’t lucky this season. Next year we expect him to be back up there.”
Photo credit: ©Bram van Lent