Hodeg and Kasperkiewicz join Quick-Step Floors as stagiaires
The Colombian and the Pole have earned a trainee position with our team, for which they will ride for the remainder of the season.
Last year, Alvaro Hodeg caught many people's attention at the U23 World Championships in Doha, where he was part of the select group that fought for medals, finishing just outside the top 10, in 12th place. From there, the Coldeportes-Claro rider went on to win three stages at the Vuelta a Chiriqui, in Panama, before taking the intermediate sprints classification earlier this season at the prestigious Girobio, which returned on the calendar after a five-year hiatus.
Soon, a one-month spell with Home Solution-Anmapa-Soenens followed, and during his time with the Belgian team, Hodeg got to showcase his fast turn of speed on European turf and taste the treacherous northern cobbles in several one-day races, one of which was Grand Prix de Saint-Nicolas, where he took an impressive second place.
"Last winter I spent more a week with Quick-Step Floors at the team's training camp in Denia, and those were some of the most beautiful days of my life. I got to train with Boonen, Gaviria and Kittel, and it was really awesome."
I remember that one day Tom Boonen gave me a hug and told me: 'Hey, all the best for next year, I hope you'll ride some nice races'
"I didn't believe him at that time, but here I am now. I'm so excited, I can't put it into words", said an over the moon Alvaro.
The 20-year-old will make his debut in the Quick-Step Floors jersey at Desselgem, before lining out at the start of the Grand Prix de Wallonie and Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen: "When I was young, it was a dream to race with a big team. I worked hard for this ever since I was a kid and eventually moved from the coast to Medellin to pursue this dream, because that was the best place to train and continue my development. I don't know if this will lead to a contract, but I'll give everything in the short period I will ride for the team."
Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz is an old acquaintance of Quick-Step Floors, as the 23-year-old Pole raced for two seasons with former feeder team Klein Constantia, from where he moved to An Post-Chain Reaction. A strong rouleur with tactical nous, who excels in long and hard races, Kasperkiewicz proved his talent on several occasions, from the runner-up spots he got in the U23 National ITT Championships to his spectacular Tour de Bretagne and An Post Ras stage victories, which he landed this season.
"Last year I rode with Klein Constantia, Quick-Step Floors' development team, so I already know the squad a bit."
It's an incredible team, with many great and talented riders, so when they asked me to join them as stagiaire I didn't think twice before grabbing this opportunity
"It gives me a lot of confidence and motivation to get such a chance. I've trained and worked relentlessly to stand here today and now I want to show my level and prove that I'm a strong and reliable teammate", explained Przemyslaw, whose first races with Quick-Step Floors will be Grote Prijs Jef Scherens and Omloop Mandel.
Quick-Step Floors CEO Patrick Lefevere shared his opinion on the team's two stagiaires: "We want to give the younger riders a chance and see how they fare against the pros, although one must keep in mind the period they get to ride for us is rather short and they aren't allowed to race World Tour events, which would have helped them gain invaluable experience. I've heard only nice things about Alvaro and Przemyslaw and I'm now curious to see them in action with our squad."
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