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Announcing the latest in a list of new signings for 2016, the Trek Factory Racing team has confirmed that the American sprinter Kiel Reijnen will make his WorldTour debut with the team.
Reijnen has impressed this season, winning stages in the USA Pro Challenge and the Tour of Utah, netting third in the US national championships and taking the mountains jersey in the Tour de Langkawi.
He’s also shown that speed in the past, clocking up wins in two editions of the Philadelphia Cycling Classic and taking another stage in the 2014 USA Pro Challenge.
In addition to that, he’s also shown the all-round ability to land overall victory in both the Tour of Rwanda and the Tour of Thailand.
“This is a huge opportunity for me,” the current UnitedHealthcare rider said, speaking about the two year deal. “This move represents the culmination of a lot of hard work over the last years. During my time at UHC I became a more consistent rider and a lot of time it was because of team work.
“I’m a bit a of a late bloomer, you know. Moving up to the WorldTour is a big step for me, and it may surprise some people. All I know is that it would not have been possible without my time at UHC.”
The 29 year old is a two-time points classification winner in the US Pro Challenge. He comes from Bainbridge Island, Washington, and will move to Europe during the 2016 season.
He is optimistic he can step up a level, saying that he considers he can find ‘a lot more depth.’
“I can gain some more sprinting speed, I think, and overall I think I am ready to take on a more demanding racing program,” he said.
“The team would like to see me race the harder one day races and that is something that’s hard to do straight off of training. I like the European races: you get beat up a lot and that equates later down the road in more strength and stamina.”
He considers himself a sprinter for selective courses, which is something that he should find plenty of in Europe.
The Trek Factory Racing team general manager Luca Guercilena said that Reinen had been on the team’s radar for some time.
“We’re excited about bringing him to the European circuit and we believe he still has a margin of progression to make. He’s found a certain niche in hard stages that lead to a reduced sprint, or flatter stages with a little kick in the end.
“He’s really good and has been very successful in these type of US races.”