Team Sunweb recruits three top talents

Team Sunweb are delighted to announce the signing of three top talents from the U23 circuit; Alberto Dainese (ITA), Mark Donovan (GBR) and Thymen Arensman (NED) to their WorldTour program. Dainese joins the team until the end of 2021, with Donovan contracted until the end of 2022, while Arensman joins Team Sunweb in the summer of 2020 until the end of the 2022 season.

Alberto Dainese

One of the most exciting sprinters in the U23 peloton, the 21-year-old Dainese is a rider that can also get over the short and punchy climbs, before battling it out in the fast finishes. Dainese had a strong 2018, taking nine wins throughout the year, along with other strong top ten results such as second place at the Italian national championships. This season the SEG Racing Academy rider has improved yet again and already has an impressive five victories to his name, including a hat-trick of wins at the tricky Tour de Bretagne; highlighting his punchy kick to the line.

Dainese said: “I chose Team Sunweb in order to continue my development after my year in SEG Racing Academy, where I already learnt a lot thanks to the structured team and the guidance they offered me. For me, Team Sunweb is the best place to continue working in a structured environment like this. My goal is to develop myself and learn a lot from the experienced teammates I will have, in order to be competitive in the WorldTour bunch sprints in the future. For sure I am very motivated to already show myself in my debut year with the team.”

Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts added: “Alberto came on our radar last year and we have since followed him really closely. We see him as one of the fastest guys in U23 peloton and this is also the direction where we want to develop him in the coming years with the team. We have a lot of knowledge in our team regarding sprinting and we believe we will give him the best possible surroundings to become one of the leading sprinters in the future.”

Mark Donovan

Donovan impressed as a junior in 2017 taking three victories, two of which were GC wins. In 2018, Donovan continued to shine as a GC rider in his first year as an U23, leading the Giro Ciclistico d’Italia before ultimately finishing in a very impressive fourth place. Following that, he took seventh at Tour Alsace before a good 11th place overall at the Tour de l’Avenir. Donovan has also proven he is capable of strong results in one-day races, with a series of solid top 15 finishes at races such as Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Ardennaise.

On joining the team Donovan said: “Team Sunweb have proved themselves over the past few years to be one of the top WorldTour teams in the world, winning races like the Giro d’Italia and the TTT world championships. There is also a big focus on developing young riders like Marc Hirschi this year and many examples from the past; I think it will be the perfect place for me to grow in the next three years. For my first year I think it’s important for me to learn as much as possible, and get used to racing in the WorldTour. It’s going to be a big step up but I’m really excited to get into it and learn from the best. Over the next few years I’m hoping to continue to improve as a climber, as well as helping the more experienced riders as best I can.”

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef added: “We have been in contact with Mark for quite a while and he joined our camp in January, making a good impression there. He showed his physical potential already last year, especially in the Baby Giro where he wore the Maglia Rosa and finished fourth place in GC. This year he has had some bad luck but we believe in him as a rider with big potential for the future, with his aggressive style of racing also one his qualities. Together with our experts we will make him a versatile program in the first years, to further develop him gradually and see in which direction and specialisation it will lead to in the future.”

Thymen Arensman

As a junior, Arensman delivered an impressive string of results, finishing in the top ten of all three stage races he competed in. Making the step up to U23 level in 2018, Arensman proved just how versatile a rider he is by taking a strong third place at Paris-Roubaix Espoirs. However, his breakthrough performance came at the Tour de l’Avenir where he finished a superb second overall at the age of just 18.

“The choice to join Team Sunweb was made fairly quickly and easily for me,” explained Arensman. “Team Sunweb fits my personality very well and I share the same vision as the team. There was a clear click in the conversations we had. The future perspective for me from Team Sunweb also appealed to me a lot; I also get the freedom to finish my university studies and to get through the winter with some cyclo-cross. My goals in the first years are mainly to develop and really discover myself as a rider. In the U23 category I stand out well as a GC rider who also can ride very well over cobblestones. The WorldTour is of course very different and my goals are to discover my capacities and to keep developing myself as a person and cyclist at Team Sunweb.”

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef added: “Since juniors Thymen has already showed his qualities on different terrains; not only on the road but also in cyclo-cross. He used those qualities last year in his first U23 season where he finished third in Paris-Roubaix and later in the season went on to climb with the best riders in his age group at the Tour de l’Avenir, finishing second on GC there. With Thymen and our support structure we want to focus on the long-term; in the beginning he will have a combined program of road and cyclo-cross, aiming to grow slowly and step-by-step, developing him as rider.”