The German cycling professional team brings young reinforcements into the ranks. The 24-year-old Belgian Rob Vanden Haesevelde (BEL / 24) is to be used in both the Olympic Cross Country World Cup and the short, fast stage races.
A Belgian newcomer was not necessarily to be expected at the moment, so team captain Steffen Thum is more than pleased that it worked out with an agreement between his professional mountain bike team and Belgian Rob Vanden Haesevelde. Vanden Haesevelde should find his place in the squad in the endurance disciplines, the Olympic Crosscountry World Cup but also the increasingly intense stage races should reflect his position here. Thum has known the Belgian athlete for a long time and was very committed to his position on the team. “Rob is very talented, determined and can work and train with a long-term approach. Nevertheless, he is a wild young 24-year-old athlete with whom we as a team want to keep ourselves fresh, dynamic and timely. Marion's engagement 2 years ago has shown that such a dynamic is not only great and refreshing, but also necessary in order to be able to consistently stay at the top of the world“, says Steffen Thum about his new teammate from the home of the Tour of Flanders Oudenaarde.
The team management emphasized several times that Rob is not replacing an athlete, but adding another. An aging squad shouldn't restrict our field of activity in the World Cup and thanks to Vanden Haesevelde, the mountain bike racing team now also has various options for stage races. Depending on the route topography, in addition to the French Rémi Laffont as a climbing and long distance specialist, the team can now also access the faster Belgian on Thum's side.
Rob Vanden Haesevelden sees this step as a major international test after years in Belgian teams: “I've been toying with such an opportunity for a long time and Steffen said to me in 2018, keep calm and don't give up. That has now come true and I have my place at the side of World Cup winners of the various disciplines like Fromberger and Gegenheimer. I want to use this opportunity and get involved in the team, both in training and with results in the big races”.
Vanden Haesevelde has already overcome all bureaucratic hurdles, the contracts have been signed and he will also be listed under Mountainbike Racingteam at the UCI from January 15th. The medical check was also carried out in conjunction with Sporthomed and the Stankt Vinzenz Clinic in Pfronten, so that Vanden Haesevelde is currently preparing for training in Finale Ligure / ITA.