Kenny Van Hummel signs with Vacansoleil-DCM
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Monday, August 1, 2011

Kenny Van Hummel signs with Vacansoleil-DCM

by Kyle Moore at 4:11 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Dutch fastman wants more opportunities to ride the top races

Kenny Van HummelKenny Van Hummel, the demonstrative sprinter who has ridden with Skil-Shimano since 2006, has transferred to Dutch team Vacansoleil-DCM for the 2012 season.

The 28-year-old has four wins this year, including a second overall win at the Ronde van Drenthe. While it seems the primary sprinting duties at Skil-Shimano have been taken over by Marcel Kittel, Van Hummel saw opportunity at Vacansoleil-DCM.

“When I was first contacted by the team, it appeared they were very interested and we slowly got the ball rolling,” he explained. “As a World Tour team, they are sometimes racing on three different fronts, and they don’t always have a sprinter at the start.”

“Vacansoleil-DCM is at all the major races, and gets a lot of positive results. I will often get the chance next year to race at the highest level, and that will drive me to compete with the best sprinters in the world. I want the best opportunities in my cycling career, and I don’t want to regret it later if I didn’t take a step like this. I am very happy that I’ve made this choice,” he said.

Van Hummel came to prominence in 2009, at the Tour de France. He had already won multiple races that year, and had come in second at the Dutch national road championships. At the Tour, Van Hummel mixed it up in some early sprint stages before the mountains hit. When they did, L’Equipe called him “the worst climber ever in the Tour de France,” but Van Hummel hung on, barely escaping time cuts on a daily basis. Though he eventually had to exit after a crash on stage seventeen, Van Hummel earned a legion of fans through his exploits.

Vacansoleil-DCM participated in its first Tour de France last month. Van Hummel speculated about his race program next year. “In terms of the program I’m riding, nothing is fixed yet,” he stated. “I am hoping to be in the big races. I’m talking about the Tour de France or the Vuelta a España, depending on how each course looks in the first week.”

“It wouldn’t be good if there are many mountain stages in the race, like in the Tour in 2009, because I was severely fatigued in the second week. I’m getting better at riding uphill, but I also want to keep my power. I don’t want to lose speed in the sprint because I’ve gained climbing power.”

Van Hummel is also looking forward to working with the management at his new Dutch team. Jean-Paul Van Poppel is in his first year with the team, after moving from the defunct Cervelo Test Team. “I had a very good talk with Van Poppel, and his ideas appealed to me,” Van Hummel added. “He is a former sprinter with a lot of experience and he can help me with things that other directors don’t always notice. I can learn a lot from him.”

“All in all, I find it quite exciting. At first, I might be thinking, ‘we did things this way at Skil, and it’s different now,’ but I’ll put those thoughts aside quickly. But some things will be different and some things will be uncertain,” he concluded.

For now, the Dutch sprinter will continue to use his trademark panache to contest more races at Skil-Shimano. He recently raced the Tour de Wallonie, and next heads to the Eneco Tour.


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