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First Hors Catégorie victory in 2010

Veranda’s Willems was considered a small team in the Tour of Wallonia 2010, but they did manage to beat the big teams in the second stage between Braine-le-Comte and Saintes on July 25th with Stefan van Dijk defeating several top riders in the sprint. After a couple of victories in UCI races of second category, Stefan offered us a first victory on the Hors Catégorie level.

“We were euphoric, because for a small team as ours it was incredible to win at this level. We were lucky that we had good riders, even though we were not known. But Jean-François always had a nose for finding the riders we needed.”

“We recruited Stefan van Dijk in 2009, because we needed someone to win races. A true sprinter. And Stefan was in this category, he had ridden for bigger teams before. And he was out of contract. That was when the negotiations with rider agents started. This is something we had to learn. We could reach an agreement with van Dijk, but afterwards we had to… pay him higher bonuses for all his victories. We were learning the job. Everything was new for me. Stefan was a great discovery, he was a captivating person. With whom we still have a good contact.”

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