The 20-year-old from Czechia is the next talent that the Team has decided to invest in for the future.
Vacek has signed a contract for the next three seasons, from 2023 through 2025, but already this year he will wear the team’s jersey as a stagiaire in some end-of-season races, along with previously-announced rising star Thibau Nys.
“I really can’t wait to pin the number on my Trek-Segafredo jersey and to show what I’m capable of. I’m looking forward to having a great time on this new adventure,” Vacek said.
The jump to the WorldTour for Vacek comes after a complicated season due to the UCI’s decision to suspend his team, Russian-registered Gazprom-RusVelo, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“For me Gazprom was the chance to grow and get ready for the big jump. I started the season off great, winning my first pro race at UAE Tour, but after this came a very hard period when the team stopped racing. I tried to pass this period with the best shape so I continued to work hard. I had some opportunities with the national team, like Nations Cup and Course de la Paix, where I did well [one stage win and 3rd in GC]. I also won the U23 ITT National Champ and I finished 2nd in the U23 RR European Continental Champ. It was definitely not easy, I really wanted more but at least I made the most of each race. The will and strength to win has never gone away,”
“Trek-Segafredo’s closeness and support has been crucial for me in these months. I kept my contact with Markel Irizar, and I would also like to thank the mechanics who perfectly prepared for me a Trek Emonda and a Trek Speed Concept. The Team’s attention was a big boost to keep me motivated. Soon will be my turn to repay it. I really look forward to be part of the team, hoping to contribute with some great results. I’ll be there to support the other guys and learn from them along the way.”
Markel Irizar, Trek-Segafredo’s talent scout, was Vacek’s first contact from the Team when he won the Junior ITT European Champ in 2020. For Mathias, that was the moment he chose to go all-in on a pro-cycling career, as he explains: “That was the start of a new chapter. I realized I had to focus completely on cycling and leave cross country skiing, the second sport I was competing at high level, just as passion.”
Irizar, who more than anyone else monitored the growth of Vacek’s talent said: “In these two years we have had the opportunity to get to know each other well. I have got to know him both as an athlete and as a person. He is a force of nature and a complete rider. He is strong on climbs and time trials, as well as gifted with a very fast sprint. I think he has the DNA of the winner. He is a calm guy outside of races but since the first approach he has conveyed his strong mentality. In race, he has an aggressive approach. You can immediately feel his ambitious, his desire to excel. I’m really curious to see him perform in our team.”