Young Belgian will support Schleck brothers in the Classics
Leopard Trek signed one of Belgian cycling's most promising youngsters, Ben Hermans, for a two-year deal effective January 1, 2012. The 25-year-old rider is making the move from Team RadioShack and will add to the team's climbing and time trialing strength.
"I'm very happy and proud to join Leopard Trek, because it's one of the most exciting outfits in professional cycling," said Hermans. "This team is all the way professional: the riders are amazing, the staff is great and the equipment is the best available. I'm sure I can further improve my skills here. There's a lot of hard work to come, but I'm ready for that."
Hermans, a junior time trial national champion in 2004, is an excellent racer against the clock, but he also climbs well. This season, he won the third event in the Challenge Mallorca and finished eighth in the Amstel Gold Race. He was also within a hair's breadth of the white jersey in the Critérium du Dauphiné and finished third overall in the Tour de Wallonie.
In 2010, Hermans won the queen stage of the Tour of Belgium and obtained top-10 placings in the Critérium International, the Tour of Belgium and the Tour of Austria. In 2008, he wore the yellow leader's jersey for two days in the Tour de l'Avenir.
Team Manager Kim Andersen is proud to welcome the Belgian. "We have closely monitored Ben's results and development and I'm looking forward to working with him. Ben is still young, but he is very professional and has the right attitude. I'm very confident that there is still room for improvement."
Hermans is looking forward to supporting Fränk and Andy Schleck in the Spring Classics. "My strengths and abilities will suit the team goals in the Ardennes Classics well, and I'm hoping to contribute as much as I can to help the Schleck brothers there."