Pim Ronhaar is another cyclocrosser hoping to break through on road: "That is why he is becoming a trainee at Lidl-Trek"

Pim Ronhaar was one of the most consistent cyclocrossers past season, finishing just outside of the podium (4th) at both European and World Cyclocross championships last winter. And while the 22-year-old has an undeniable talent for racing in the cold, his main ambitions lay on the road. And Lidl-Trek should be the team to give the Baloise - Trek Lions rider his deserved opportunity.

Ronhaar's been on a streak of strong results since the start of his road season in May with an overall victory at Flèche du Sud (2.2), 13th at Antwerp Port Epic (1.1), 4th overall and a stage at Tour de la Mirabelle (2.2). Normally, these results would already draw an attention of many big teams, but the Dutchman went even one step beyond at Dwars door het Hageland (1.Pro).

The dusty race with gravel sections near gravel is very popular among Alpecin-Deceuninck and Uno-X Mobility who are the only winners since 2020. A startlist filled with big names such as Gianni Vermeersch, Kaden Groves or two-time winner Rasmus Tiller didn not scare Ronhaar who rose to an impressive 7th place.

"As a team we did reasonably well," analyzed his current team boss Sven Nys in a WielerFlits interview. "Pim is gradually becoming our leader on the road. If you see how he managed the Flèche du Sud, that was strong."

Nys draws a comparison to his son Thibau, already an established pro with Lidl-Trek who took a similar path to Ronhaaar: "Thibau has that little bit more sprint to finish it off. But Pim is a fast rider who can join the right group in competitions such as the Antwerp Port Epic and the Hageland."

"Pim is really someone with capabilities. Someone who also has the ambition to see where he can go down the road," Nys explains. "That is why he is becoming a trainee at Lidl-Trek in August. To see whether we also have options for the future. But also during this period in summer, competitions such as Dwars door het Hageland are an excellent opportunity for him to show what he can really do."

As a trainee, Ronhaar won't be allowed to contest WorldTour races just yet. "We are still working on developing his race programme. There are certainly a number of competitions that qualify for this. But there is no concrete plan yet," Nys concludes.

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