Kiel Reijnen has moved to Trek Factory Racing for the 2016 season. The American has raced with United Healthcare for the past several seasons but after a highly impressive campaign in 2015 Trek decided to sign the rider.
Reijnen is the third North American rider to join the team in recent weeks after Ryder Hesjedal and Peter Stetina both put pen to paper with the WorldTour squad.
"This is a huge opportunity for me. This move represents the culmination of a lot of hard work over the last years. 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," he said in a press release.
Reijnen, 29, has raced on the US scene since turning professional with Jelly Belly in 2009. He moved to United Healthcare in 2013 and has flourished ever since, wining stages in the Tour of Utah and USA Pro Challenge.
“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,” says Reijnen, who will find a base in Europe during the season. “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."
Trek Factory's Luca Guercilena has been tracking Reijnen for some time and has added a rider who can both climb and win from small groups.
“Kiel has been on our radar for some time now and we are proud to welcome him to our team. 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 typeof US races.”