WorldTeam Meet the Lotto Soudal youngsters: Maxim Van Gils
As the new cycling season gets underway, Lotto Soudal is happy to welcome several new riders to the team. Amongst them are five young guns who were part of the Lotto Soudal U23 team last year and who now turn pro at the WorldTeam. One of them is 21-year-old Maxim Van Gils, who is eagerly awaiting his first races as a professional cyclist.
Maxim Van Gils: “I spent three years at the Lotto Soudal U23 team and in my opinion, the step to the WorldTeam clearly shows that the Development project is paying off. I am really proud to swap the U23 team for the WorldTeam, together with some other guys like Xandres Vervloesem and Harry Sweeny.”
Cycling has been a part of Van Gils’ life ever since he was little and to become a professional cyclist is really a dream come true for the 21-year-old Belgian.
Maxim Van Gils: “I got into cycling thanks to my father - who is a passionate cyclo-tourist - and I already did my first race when I was eight years old. I was able to progress step by step ever since and I am very proud that I am now a professional cyclist. Also my younger brother is crazy about cycling and also takes part in races, in the junior category. Sometimes, we are going for a ride with the three of us, those are moments I really enjoy.”
Van Gils has a penchant for mountains. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that last year, he showed himself during prestigious climbing races for U23 riders such as the Ronde de l’Isard or the Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc.
“I just love the high mountains and I really like to ride at a steady pace for a long time. Apart from that, I am also quite fast at the end of a race. In the future, I hope to play a prominent role in races like the Ardennes Classics. During the race, I am more a wait-and-see kind of guy and I’d rather prefer to put my cards on the table during the final phase of the race”, explains Maxim Van Gils.
“At the moment, I am not yet acquainted with the time trial bike. Except for a prologue and a team time trial, I have little to no experience in that particular discipline. But if I want to perform well in stage races in the future, I will have to focus more on time trialing. I am really curious to see how high the level of racing at the pro category really is. I am eager to further discover myself and to see how far I can get. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that this season is only about learning as much as possible, I also want to give it my all during the races”, concludes the young Lotto Soudal rider.