Last season saw Sam Oomen breakthrough as a world-class rider. Finishing ninth in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de Pologne and seventh in the Tour de Suisse, the 23-year-old has established himself as a true GC threat on the world stage, as well as supreme domestique in the mountains for his team leader Tom Dumoulin.
A GC specialist, with talents for hilly classics such as Il Lombardia and Liège Bastogne Liège, Sam believes:
The thoughtful 23-year-old has been riding since he was a little boy. Aged seven, and “so bad at football!”, he was persuaded by a friend at school to try bike riding. With his cycling club just 200 metres away, he had no excuses. He won his first race, and that was it.
Next season, Sam hopes to take the top 10s, and a 14th at the world championships – “not bad for the biggest races of the year” – and turn them into podiums and victories.
“I want to step up this year, grab my opportunities, and go for wins. If I can make that step, that would be really cool. It’s about performing in the best way, challenging yourself to make the right decisions, to perform better.”
Known for digging deep on the bike, he is now entering his fourth season with Team Sunweb, a team who set out a three-year plan for him when he signed in 2015.
Off the bike, Sam loves making music. He played guitar at school, even singing Under the Bridge, by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers at a talent show.