Every photo you’ve seen of Kiel Reijnen over the last few weeks has probably involved him smiling profusely. Whether it is the obligatory bike and rider combos, the posing with his new teammates or training in Spain, he has been beaming from ear-to-ear with a genuine eagerness and freshness not all professionals can claim to foster.
In case you’re not aware of Reijnen’s backstory, he is a 29-year-old rider who has followed a rather unique path into the WorldTour rank and file. Unlike one of your typical U23 development riders he never clamoured for a place at cycling’s top table. Instead, he chose to build a solid base on the North American domestic scene before cementing his role as a leading rider within that circuit. Over the years there were certainly chances to move to Europe, race the biggest races and work with some of the biggest names, but until this year Reijnen had resisted. However, when Trek-Segafredo came calling it was time to make the leap. And since then, that smile has just become wider and wider.
“I’m definitely a bit of a late bloomer,” he modestly tells Cyclingnews as we sit down in the lobby of the Trek-Segafredo hotel in Benidorm on a crisp December evening.
Kiel Reijnen and Peter Stetina at the Trek-Segafredo team camp in December.