Kobe Goossens turns pro at Lotto Soudal
Following in the footsteps of amongst others Stan Dewulf, Gerben Thijssen, Harm Vanhoucke and Brent Van Moer, another young Belgian talent from Lotto Soudal’s development team will step up to the WorldTour outfit. The 23-year-old Kobe Goossens signed a two-year pro contract and will be part of the WorldTour team of Lotto Soudal as of next season.
The 23-year-old Belgian started his cycling career as a cyclo-crosser but decided to focus entirely on road racing from the beginning of last year. The past two seasons, Goossens especially showed himself in the races with a considerable amount of climbing. This year, he won the two-day Tour du Jura and finished third overall at the Circuit des Ardennes.
Kobe Goossens: “Signing a professional contract is for sure a dream come true, it is largely the reason why you start cycling in the first place. I felt really good within the U23 team of Lotto Soudal and it only seemed a natural choice to make the step towards the pro team. Despite the fact that I suffered a serious injury last year, Kurt Van de Wouwer still gave me the chance to stay within the team. If you then get an offer to join the WorldTour team, you don’t need to hesitate for too long.”
“Not so long ago, I exchanged cyclocross for road racing. Once you start, it is difficult to quit racing off-road but after a good conversation with my former team manager Sven Nys, I decided to entirely focus on road racing. Eventually, that choice turned out to be the right one. I lacked a little explosiveness in cyclocross and these days, courses are made more and more in favor of the explosive riders. In the junior ranks, you can still make up for that, it already became harder in the U23 category but it would have been impossible with the pros.”
“Races which include a lot of climbing really suit me and I also hope to further develop in those kind of races. I am not a pure climber, I’m rather leaning more toward a general classification rider. Just like Thomas De Gendt, I like to race offensively. I have a soft spot for the Grand Tours and stage races like Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné. Those are the kind of races that appeal the most to me and where I want to try to obtain a good general classification in the future. Just like many riders, the Tour de France is my ultimate dream.”
“The coming two years will all be about gaining as much experience as possible. I also look forward to discovering the life as a pro cyclist, to helping the team as best I can and that way becoming the best version of myself. The past weeks, I have been dealing with some illness but I am gradually getting better. That is why I discussed with Kurt Van de Wouwer that we would determine my race schedule depending on my feeling and certainly not force anything. The plan is to race until the end of September, after which I will have a rest period to again build up towards the 2020 season.”