Cyclist Jasper Stuyven currently seventh in Tour of Spain
Leuven cyclist Jasper Stuyven is currently seventh in the points classification in one of Europe’s most gruelling races
It is a remarkable result for such a newcomer to the gruelling tour, even if his position on Tuesday was after just nine of the 21 Vuelta stages. Yet it comes as little surprise to those who have seen Stuyven (pictured) make his confident climb through the ranks.
At 17, he won the UCI Junior Road Race World Championships. He won Paris-Roubaix Juniors the subsequent year, followed by a second place in his first Paris-Roubaix Espoirs and a third place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège Espoirs, while last year he won the Tour of Alentejo in Portugal.
Relatively tall and muscular in a feathery field, he switched a year ago from the Bontrager Pro Cycling Team and U23 racing to US team Trek Factory Racing, which is built around classics king Fabian Cancellara. These days, Stuyven thrills to his role as a support act for the Swiss sprinter, taking to Twitter to exclaim how much he is learning from the experience.
It may still be a while before he matches the likes of fellow Flemish riders Tom Boonen and Jurgen Van den Broeck – in La Vuelta’s overall classification, Stuyven is only 79th overall, while Trek Factory Racing is 19th of the 22 teams. But having notched a fourth place in the sprint on just the second day of La Vuelta, Stuyven has shown he can rise to the occasion.
The Tour of Spain continues until 14 September.
Photo courtesy jasperstuyven.be