Antwan Tolhoek dreams of winning a Grand Tour stage with Trek-Segafredo
Twenty-seven-year-old Antwan Tolhoek has signed a contract that will see him riding a Trek bike and drinking Segafredo coffee for the upcoming two seasons.
Tolhoek’s first sporting love was ice-skating, a popular activity in his native country, The Netherlands. It wasn’t until 2014 when he began to take cycling more seriously, having, until this time, only used a bike to help with his skating training.
The following year, the Zeelander secured a spot on the Rabobank Development Team – the same structure where Bauke Mollema and Koen de Kort learned their trade. Tolhoek rode as a stagiaire with Tinkoff-Saxo in August 2015, where he worked with Trek-Segafredo director Steven de Jongh.
Steven de Jongh: “When I was working with Tinkoff, we saw that Antwan was quite talented, so he was given a spot as a stagiaire. But, back then, Antwan was still young and had only been on the bike for two and a half years. He was too inexperienced to throw into WorldTour level, so I called a friend who was working at the Roompot team, and they took him on for the next season. In his first professional year, Antwan took the mountains jersey at the Tour de Suisse, and then he was offered a contract with Team Lotto NL Jumbo.
“Antwan is a super polite guy, but he’s very hungry to race; he enjoys attacking to be in the breakaways and overall races aggressively. Since we were looking for riders who could go in the break and go for stages, I think he will fit the profile for us. In the mountain stages and shorter stage races, as well as in the Ardennes Classics, he can play an important role for us.
“Hopefully, with us, he can win at one of the week-long stage races. In the Grand Tours, whatever his program may be, I think he could do a role similar to what Kenny Elissonde was doing at the Vuelta. He’s really a talented climber.”
Behind his youthful smile, Tolhoek has a strong desire to win. The Dutch climber relishes that he will have occasions to try his hand in breakaways.
Antwan Tolhoek: “I’m really happy that I’m going to ride for Trek-Segafredo for the coming two years. I’m looking forward to racing Grand Tours again and fighting for a stage victory. Some experienced riders already showed that they get the chance to go in the breakaway and fight for a stage win with this Team, and that’s my dream. I hope that I can get this dream into the books in the next two years with Trek-Segafredo.
“It was a hard decision to make to leave my current team because I have been riding with them since the start of my professional career, but when a team like Trek-Segafredo came and offered me the chance to ride for myself in big races and win a stage in a Grand Tour, then there was no doubt about me grabbing this opportunity.”