The 29-year-old American makes the jump to the UCI WorldTour from Pro Continental team UnitedHealthcare.
UnitedHealthcare rider Kiel Reijnen will race in the UCI WorldTour next season, as it was announced Thursday he has signed a contract with Trek Factory Racing.
The news was first reported by Manual for Speed, which partnered with Trek to make the announcement.
The report was followed by a Tweet from the 29-year-old Reijnen, who confirmed the news.
So…this is happening http://t.co/wI4y1jphPi
— Kiel Reijnen (@Kielreijnen) September 17, 2015
Reijnen, who was left off the United States roster for the upcoming UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia, has ridden for Pro Continental outfit UnitedHealthcare since 2013. Before that, he spent three years racing for Jelly Belly and another two on the team now known as Novo Nordisk.
“This is a huge opportunity for me. This move represents the culmination of a lot of hard work over the last years,” Reijnen said in a Trek press release. “During my time at UHC I became a more consistent rider and a lot of time it was because of team work. I’m a bit a of a late bloomer, you know. Moving up to the WorldTour is a big step for me, and it may surprise some people. All I know is that it would not have been possible without my time at UHC.”
A sprinter, Reijnen has recorded several wins on the U.S. racing circuit during his career, including two victories in the Philly Cycling Classic and two stage wins in the USA Pro Challenge. Reijnen also won the sprint classification at the 2014 and 2015 editions of the USA Pro Challenge.
Internationally, Reijnen won the 2010 Tour of Thailand and the 2011 Tour of Rwanda.
“I believe I have a lot more depth to find. I can gain some more sprinting speed, I think, and overall I think I am ready to take on a more demanding racing program,” Reijnen said. “The team would like to see me race the harder one-day races and that is something that’s hard to do straight off of training. I like the European races: you get beat up a lot and that equates later down the road in more strength and stamina.”
At last month’s USA Pro Challenge, Reijnen said he has never been one to promote himself in terms of trying to land a spot in the top level of the sport.
“I’m not the best at promoting myself,” he said. “I have a hard time doing that. And at the same time, it’s not like I’ve spent the last four years desperately looking for any WorldTour contract I can get my hands on.”
Trek general manager Luca Guercilena said the team is “excited” to have Reijnen join the lineup.
“Kiel has been on our radar for some time now and we are proud to welcome him to our team,” Guercilena said. “We’re excited about bringing him to the European circuit and we believe he still has a margin of progression to make. He’s found a certain niche in hard stages that lead to a reduced sprint, or flatter stages with a little kick in the end. He’s really good and has been very successful in these type of U.S. races.”