Road

Kevin Vermaerke signs for Sunweb through 2023

Young Californian to ride as stagiaire in 2020 before stepping up to WorldTour next year.

Kevin Vermaerke is the latest young American talent set to step up to the WorldTour.

The 19-year-old has signed with Team Sunweb through 2023, riding the remainder of this season as stagiaire before making the jump to the team’s WorldTour progam.

The young Californian is yet another rider that has benefited from his time with Hagens Berman Axeon, having ridden with the youth talent factory since 2019. Last week, Sean Quinn moved from the team to ride as stagiaire for Deceuninck-Quick-Step.

“Taking the step up to the WorldTour is something I have been dreaming about and working towards since I first started cycling,” Vermaerke said. “Team Sunweb has really invested in young talent in the past few years and I am really looking forward to joining this group and seeing what we can do together over the coming seasons. I think Team Sunweb will be the perfect place to continue my development and discover what type of rider I can become.”

Having won Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 and made the top-25 overall at both Tour de Yorkshire and Tour of Utah last year, Vermaerke has confirmed himself as a breakout climbing star. Earlier this month, the 19-year-old was bumping shoulders with the best climbers in the world at Tour de l’Ain, finishing 38th overall.

“As a first-year U23 rider he took an extraordinary win at Liège-Bastogne-Liége, highlighting his abilities as a puncheur and capability in the hilly Ardennes. Those are the types of races we believe he can excel at in the future and with our team of experts, trainers and coaches, we’ll work towards those goals,” said Team Sunweb coach Rudi Kemna. “At the recent Tour de l’Ain he proved he can go well on the longer climbs so we’ll also aim to improve his all-around abilities and identify where his real potential is.”