Kevin Hulsmans has decided to sign up with Belgian Continental team Donckers Koffie-Jelly Belly. The Quick Step rider, who has spent his entire career in the pro cycling circuit with Patrick Lefevere, now has the opportunity to assume team leadership for a smaller outfit, which he hopes to develop further.
"There are two important reasons for my move," the 32-year-old told Belgian news agency belga. "Firstly, I will be able to show myself in the forefront as a team leader, as I still have the ambition of winning races. Secondly, I want to bring the team to a higher level using my experience. With sports director and team owner Rudy Donckers I moreover work with someone who has been my mentor since the start of my career in the cycling school of Neerpelt."
The team has already boosted its 2011 roster with new recruits Kurt Hovelynck from Quick Step, Ricardo Van Der Velde from Garmin-Transitions, Huub Duyn from NetApp as well as re-signing James Spragg and Michael Vanderaerden from the Qin team. With the addition of Hulsmans, who has been a valuable worker for such top level rider as Tom Boonen, the outfit is certain to make a stronger impact next season.
Hulsmans became a pro in 2000 with Mapei, after winning the 1999 U23 Tour of Flanders. Other victories include a stage of the Niedersachsen Rundfahrt in 2000 and a stage of Circuit Franco-Belge in 2002.