Young neo-pro Louis Vervaeke (Lotto Soudal) won the blue Metas Volantes (sprints) jersey in this year’s Vuelta al Pais Vasco, a jersey typically won by a frequent and determined escapee. The young Belgian first took the jersey on stage three, lost it on stage four to Astana’s Lieuwe Westra but took it back for good on stage five.
According to his website, 21-year-old Louis has been a keen sportsman since childhood. He played tennis, football and rode horses and bikes until he was thirteen, at which point he joined a local cycling club and has never looked back. Initially, like many Belgians, he combined cyclocross with road racing, deciding to concentrate on the latter when he was fifteen.
Success as a junior saw him progress through the ranks, joining his current team’s development squad in January 2013. Some great results in early 2014, such as victory in Ronde de l’Isard and the overall, points and youth classification in the Tour des Pays de Savoie, got him a gig as a stagiaire for the then Lotto Belisol. A stage win and fifth overall in last year’s Tour de l’Avenir landed him a contract on the WorldTour team.
Saturday’s jersey win is not a bad way to start to what I’m sure will be a promising career!
Header image: Richard Whatley