As promised, we’re still keeping tabs on our two young neo-pros, #youngdudes Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafredo) and Lennard Hofstede (Sunweb), albeit from afar. Ruben has been recovering from the extraction of his wisdom teeth (ouch) while Lennard has been braving the roads of northern Belgium. And we have a little surprise in store for you too!
I had hoped to catch up with Ruben at Paris-Nice but he was still recovering from the extraction of his impacted wisdom teeth. I checked in with the team and they assured me he was recovering well and was back training on the bike. Depending on his progress, it’s likely his next race will be the Vuelta al Pais Vasco at the beginning of April.
But it’s not all been bad news for young Ruben. He was named in a recent Cycling Weekly article as one of the young riders to watch. Former world champion and compatriot Rui Costa had this to say about him:
We have many young riders coming up, but I want to talk about my Portuguese countryman Ruben Guerreiro with Trek. He’s a great rider and you already saw that in the Tour Down Under. He can already be at the top in two to three years. Guerreiro goes well over the climbs, he’s not that big, so he’s one for rolling terrain. Keep an eye on him.
After the Tour of Abu Dhabi, Lennard was in action at last week’s Nokere Koerse where, once again, Phil Bauhaus was Sunweb’s designated sprinter. Despite Lennard crashing in the hectic final circuit, Bauhaus finished fourth.
I checked in with Lennard – he told me that he had a separated shoulder and plenty of bruises from falling at speed. Luckily, he hadn’t broken his collarbone as feared but he’ll still require some time off the bike to recover from his injuries. He told me he was bitterly disappointed to be missing Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. At VeloVoices, we’re sending healing wishes in Lennard’s direction.
You may recall, Owain Doull was the rider our readers chose for us to follow at the Santos Tour Down Under. Ruben and Lennard stepped up to the plate when Owain was diagnosed with appendicitis on the eve of the race. He’s since made a full recovery – including collecting his MBE for his services to cycling, following his gold in team pursuit at Rio2016 – and was looking in the pink when I met up with him last week in Nice. He’d recently taken part in the Tour of Abu Dhabi and Strade Bianche and was looking forward to the Classics Season, particularly as he’ll be participating in some of Tom Boonen‘s last ever (pass me the tissues) races. He’ll be taking part in E3 Harelbeke, Gent Wevelgem and then Ronde van Vlaanderen, so keep a look out for him.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on Ruben, Owain and Lennard’s progress during the season. Keep a look out for our race updates and follow their progress on Twitter #youngdudes.
Header image: Lennard Hofstede Getty Images ©Tim De Waele