Florian Vermeersch: “I can’t wait to ride races”


Florian Vermeersch: “I can’t wait to ride races”

He finished his first week as a pro cyclist. Without any race. Florian Vermeersch imagined his debut in the World Tour slightly different, but he still has time. He is barely 21 years old, reigning Belgian champion U23 and someone to cherish.

He started his cycling career in cyclocross where he did very well: he became first-year Belgian champion and participated twice in the World Championships. This is not so obvious in a cyclo-cross nation as Belgium. And yet he turned his back on cyclo-cross.

During my first U23 season I noticed that I did not make any progress in the field,Florian Vermeersch says. “I do not have an explanation for it. On the other hand, it went better and better on the road, so the choice was made quickly.”

And it did go better and better. During his first fulltime season on the road (2019) the cyclist from East Flanders, took the Belgian title and won the general classification and three stages in the Tour de Moselle.

It is a pity that I could only ride two races in that beautiful jersey this year,” Vermeersch continues. “Fortunately, I won Brussel-Zepperen which is a consolation prize after a spring that was cancelled. For everybody corona has rather shut down our land and the world. Then you can put into perspective that what we do is merely riding a bike. I could focus more on my studies but was able to stay in good shape. I am eager to race again and want to be ready as soon as we can compete. Our sponsors deserve this.”

For Vermeersch, who studies history at Ghent University, a debut in a Grand Tour is not yet possible this season.

There are enough beautiful races on the calendar from which I can choose. I quietly hope to be a part of the selection for the World Championships time trial U23. It is something to look forward to like many things this year. I will be enjoying the rest of the season and will especially learn a lot, but the team can also count on me.