My earliest cycling experience was on holiday with my parents. We would often go to the French countryside and ride a tagalong through the mountains, but I didn’t do much of the pedaling until I got my own bike when I was eight years old. At the age of 13, when I got my first racing bike, I started competing. My first win came a few years later as a junior in the Omloop van de Alblasserwaard, a memory I really treasure as it was very close to my home. My main focus initially was road racing, but I was lucky enough to borrow a Cervélo for a few time trials and developed a liking for this discipline.
At this stage in my youth career, I wasn’t even aware of the development stage in cycling until my coach encouraged me in my second year of juniors to try and earn a place at Rabobank Development Team. At this point, I thought: “This is getting pretty serious, maybe I could become a pro.”
I made steady progress during my time there. My first pro race was the Ster ZLM Tour. It was a very different experience from the amateur peloton. The pace was really high. I’d look behind me expecting to see a whittled down peloton and there were still over 100 guys left!
I joined Team Sunweb as a trainee back in 2016. Despite a good spell, there was no space on the team for me the following year, unfortunately. I went on to ride for Roompot, but Team Sunweb kept track of me. I believe it was at the Tour de Suisse where I really made a good impression on my future employers keeping up with the best on the climbs, ultimately making the step from Pro-Continental to World Tour in 2018. It’s been onwards and upwards ever since.
In the future, I would love to win Il Lombardia. I finished on the podium in the U23 version and would really like to do it with the pros. It’s a beautiful area and a very prestigious race.