Ilan Van Wilder (BEL)
After a strong final year in the juniors, 2019 saw Ilan Van Wilder begin his career as an U23 rider. A string of impressive results in the opening Spring races included top 15 finishes at both Ronde van Vlaanderen and Liége-Bastogne-Liége, highlighting his ability over the most demanding terrain. Van Wilder’s first win of the year would come on the queen stage of Course de la Paix, beating some strong opposition before ultimately finishing fourth on GC. Arguably his standout performance of the year came at the Tour de l’Avenir where he ended the race in third place overall, claiming seven top-ten stage finishes throughout the ten days, proving his worth as an exciting GC prospect. Looking ahead, 19-year-old Van Wilder will continue his development as a rider with Team Sunweb in the coming years.
Van Wilder explained: “I’m looking forward to joining the team to develop my abilities and make the best out of my career on the long term. My goal is to learn as much as possible and really work towards reaching my full potential – I believe this is a great place for me to do that. Stage racing suits me well, and I am really looking forward to gaining more experience in that field together with Team Sunweb. I like the long term vision that the team has with me, and the fact they won’t skip any steps along the way. I can’t wait to join and would like to thank my current team Lotto-Soudal for the opportunities they have given me.”
Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef added: “We’re proud and delighted to add Ilan to our roster for the upcoming three years. We’ve been watching his progress since the beginning of 2018 and he continues to impress as one of the most exciting talents of his generation. This year he has made another step up and taken big GC results at various races such as Tour de l’Avenir, Course de la Paix and Ronde de l’Isard. In the next three years we will work together to gradually work on Ilan’s development as a rider. We plan to ride different types of races with him, but the main focus will be on developing his climbing and time trial abilities in the future.”