Kenny van Hummel has signed a one-year contract with Androni-Venezuela after prolonged negotiations. "Obviously I am very happy with the chance Androni offered me and I am looking forward to the sporting challenges that lie ahead," Van Hummel told Cyclingnews.
After two years with Vacansoleil-DCM, the Dutch sprinter had a verbal agreement to ride for Fernando Alonso's team next year. When the Formula 1 driver didn't proceed with his plans to take over Euskaltel-Euskadi's license, Van Hummel was left without a team for 2014.
"I can say that was a bit of disaster. That's why I am so happy that I managed to find a great team in these difficult times. Androni offers me a great chance to ride with them for one year."
With several Dutch riders still left without a team after Vacansoleil-DCM, Champion System and Sojasun, Van Hummel experienced stressful times.
"I was not ready to retire yet but I had to think about several scenarios for next year. When time went on, I kind of accepted that I would go back to college next year and keep riding my bike to train young riders. But obviously remaining a pro cyclist had always been the first goal," van Hummel added.
Van Hummel won a stage in the Arctic Race of Norway this year and accumulated several podium finishes in Handzame Classic, Tour of Picardie, Dutch Food Valley Classic and the Ronde van Zeeland Seaports.
"It was a good season and I still can win races, although it was only one race this year. I still have a lot of points that I take with me for next year but also the year after that. That means it's important to stay visible and score some good results. I have my own ways as a cyclist, a clean way of riding I must add, and I just wasn't ready to stop."
Van Hummel turned pro in 2006 with Skil-Shimano, a team he stayed with until he signed for Vacansoleil-DCM in 2012. Androni-Venezuela will be his first foreign team. He joins compatriot and current teammate Johnny Hoogerland at the team, which has secured a wild card for the 2014 Giro d'Italia.
"It's an Italian team so the Giro d'Italia is definitely a goal next season. Another goal is to learn Italian as soon as I can," said van Hummel.
"I never experienced this before, that while already on holiday after a long season, you still get the news of a new team. It's very special and I am really happy about the chance Gianni Savio is giving me."