Wilco Kelderman is a silent force with an enormous amount of power and is not to be underestimated. Wilco started cycling at an early age and soon became successful. The Dutch rider has won many stages and multi-day races at junior and U23 level with his professional cycling career later starting in 2012.
Wilco’s 2017 season, his first with Team Sunweb, started and ended with bad luck after crashing in both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour of Guangxi. “To step out of the Giro was very disappointing for me. I felt really good and was so motivated to help Tom Dumoulin on his way to pink. It took a little time to make up my mind and set new goals, but luckily I managed to do so.”
During the Vuelta a España, Kelderman showed his mental resilience by finishing fourth overall, proving he’s one of the most talented Grand Tour riders in the world. “The first stages were quite hard but after the first week, I felt better and better every day. The awareness of competing against Froome and Nibali in the mountains gave me a lot of confidence. I’m proud of my performance in Spain and very thankful to my teammates, who gave everything to help me.”
After the Vuelta, there were more successes to come. Kelderman finished seventh in the individual time trial during the world championships in Bergen and just a few days earlier, was part of the team that became team time trial world champions. “Winning this title was very special, especially because we managed to do it with a very young team. Everyone felt strong, but we weren’t thinking about winning at all. It felt so natural, everyone knew what to do, took their role on perfectly and were so relaxed. We went like a machine!”
Making a comeback after facing different challenges is great, but most importantly Wilco has found the fun in cycling again. “The team helped me to turn back to the basics; just training, resting, nutrition and nothing else.”