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EF Education First sign German 'machine' Rutsch for 2020

Jonas Rutsch, second from right, alongside Alexander Kristoff on the Gent-Wevelgem podium.

Jonas Rutsch, second from right, alongside Alexander Kristoff on the Gent-Wevelgem podium. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Jonathan Vaughters’ EF Education First team have moved to sign U23 Gent-Wevelgem winner Jonas Rutsch for the start of the 2020 season.

Rutsch, 21, currently rides for the Team Lotto – Kern Haus Continental outfit, which helped Max Walscheid through the ranks before he made the step up to the WorldTour with Team Sunweb.

Along with winning Gent-Wevelgem, Rutsch has built a solid reputation as a dependable stage racer. He was eighth overall in the recent Tour of Luxembourg after finishing ninth on a key stage won by Jesus Herrada (Cofidis).

“The rise to the WorldTour means that I have reached a career goal already,” said Rutsch in a press release issued by his 2020 team.

“I have worked towards this since I was a little boy. It was always my dream to become a professional cyclist. I have invested a lot of time and hard work, and I’m really happy to make it to the top level.”

Vaughters is no stranger to picking up young and gifted riders and he took the opportunity of the press release to compare his new signing to a fictional character sent from the future to destroy mankind.

“The kid is a machine,” he said. “A well-tuned machine, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator.

“He’s a big rider that seems to climb well and go over cobbles well – and from what I’ve seen, he handles pressure well, too. I think he’s going to be a great Classics rider. I mean, he won Gent-Wevelgem, and I believe is a future Paris-Roubaix winner.”

Rutsch, who placed 7th in the German U23 championship road race last week said that his ambitions lay in one-day races.

“The team brings a lightness into the world of cycling. The team is ambitious and cool with a good direction. It’s an exciting team to follow and I’m excited to explore the world with the team,” he added.

“To me, explore the world means discovering new places with amazing people to gain experiences that will broaden my horizons. That can be perfectly pursued while riding for this team.”