Tom Van Asbroeck will line up in the colours of Cannondale-Drapac next year, rounding out the team’s classics squad and 2017 roster. The signing of Van Asbroeck bolsters the team’s depth in the northern classics as well as supplies a fleet finisher in other races.
With a background in motor racing and mountain biking, Van Asbroeck started racing bikes at the age of 17 and came up through the Belgian Topsport Vlaanderen program. He rode for Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator in 2012 and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise in 2013 and 2014. His 13th place finish in Paris-Tours of 2014 got him a spot with Team LottoNL-Jumbo, where he made his WorldTour debut.
Calling cycling “the most fun job I can ever imagine,” he was happiest during the 2015 and 2016 spring classics. Last season, Van Asbroeck supported Vanmarcke’s quest for a Paris-Roubaix victory. Vanmarcke finished just off the podium at Roubaix and second at Gent-Wevelgem. The two hope to move up this season.
“A big reason for me to join Cannondale-Drapac was Sep of course. He asked me to join him and really wanted me there on the team, and he’s a really, really good friend,” Van Asbroeck said. “That was one of the big reasons why I wanted to join the team. Plus, I think it’s a really nice team. Everything looks cool, the kits and bikes are really nice. Everything fits my picture of professionalism.
“Sep was really enthusiastic for me to come, and it’s always nice if someone wants you with him on the team. I know what I can do for Sep and what he can do for me in the sprints. We make a really good team, so that was a big part of my decision.”
Van Asbroeck is a multi-faceted rider, capable of supporting a leader or notching a result himself. In 2014, he finished sixth at Gent-Wevelgem and seventh at Dwars door Vlaanderen. In the 2016 season, he finished fourth in the Primus Classic Impanis-Van Petegem, won a stage and the points classification in the Tour du Poitou Charentes and took the mountain classification in the Arctic Tour of Norway.
“The thing I wanted to build this season was a deeper cobbled classics team. That was sort of the number one focus of what I was trying to recruit for moving forward. By UCI statistics, we’re the smallest budget team in the WorldTour, so I needed to figure out where, and how, we can win races,” Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters said.
“That’s where Sep Vanmarcke came about, Tom Van Asbroeck and Taylor Phinney,” Vaughters added. “Vanmarcke is probably the fastest rider on the cobbles, flat out. He’s really come into his own since his previous time with us, and he’ll have a spirited team around him, with Taylor, Tom, Dylan van Baarle, Sebastian Langeveld and others. We have a lot to play off of this season in the classics. I’m excited to see what we can do.”