Vorselaar, Belgium
Hiking, my bee keeping course
Favourite food
Favourite TV show
Favourite holiday destination
Favourite race


Jan Bakelants; a star of the cycling world. A Tour de France stage winner and a rider who has spent two days in the coveted yellow jersey, Jan hit rock bottom in 2017 after crashing at Il Lombardia, the Belgian broke four vertebrae. Suddenly, his life was in danger, let alone his professional cycling career.

“From the moment it happened, I hoped I would walk again – that wasn’t confirmed to start with. I had a good team of surgeons and capable physios behind me, who have helped me get to where I am now. My life is more or less back to where it was.”

Jan looks back on the last two years with a sense of profound pain and grief. Now he is ready to excel once again with a team that suits his outlook: “They ride as a team, they fight for each other and everyone is happy for the guy that finishes the job. Team Sunweb looks like a bunch of good friends and you can see that in how well they do in team time trials. They excel in this discipline because team camaraderie is at their heart.

“I also like the scientific approach Team Sunweb has. This will be new for me, but at this point in my career I need an expert scientific approach to come back to my A game.”

And while the 32-year-old is aware he will be one of the older members of what is one of the youngest WorldTour teams on average, he doesn’t plan to be the “grandad nagging in the corner,” but instead hopes to impart some of his knowledge, experience, and mistakes to the younger riders.


Jan Bakelants | Team Sunweb
Jan Bakelants | Team Sunweb
Jan Bakelants | Team Sunweb

“I didn’t come from a specific cycling family and that cost me in my career. I only started racing when I was about 15. I made mistakes and had to discover everything myself, this cost me time in my development. I will have an important role guiding the younger guys. They are in a great place with education from Team Sunweb, but there are still some nuances of pro cycling I can pass on.”

Jan, who describes himself as an all-rounder, hopes to find some form once again time-trialling as well as targeting the hilly Classics such as Amstel Gold and Liege Bastogne Liege.

Away from cycling he has two big passions – his quest to bake the perfect loaf of sourdough bread, and to become a beekeeper, which he is currently training towards.

He is an epicurean, a lover of fine wine and food, and loves hiking with his wife and two children.


3 Hammer Limburg Stage 3
4 Hammer Limburg
4 Hammer Limburg Stage 2
5 ZLM Tour
7 ZLM Tour Stage 3
9 World Championships Mixed Relay TTT
9 Hammer Limburg Stage 1
13 ZLM Tour Prologue
15 Giro d'Italia Stage 17
15 Giro d'Italia Stage 7
6 Grand Prix Cerami
10 Tour de Pologne Stage 5
11 Deutschland Tour Stage 4
11 Deutschland Tour Stage 2
12 Deutschland Tour
16 Grand Prix de Wallonie
17 Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec
18 Itzulia Basque Country Stage 3
18 Binche - Chimay Binche / Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke
20 Tour de Pologne Stage 6
3 Royal Bernard Drome Classic
4 Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal
4 Tour de Suisse Mountains Classification
5 Grand Prix de Wallonie
5 Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 4
8 Tour de France Stage 15
8 Tour de France Stage 19
9 Tour de Suisse Stage 3
11 Clásica Ciclista San Sebastian
11 Tour de Suisse Stage 2