As we draw the curtain on a successful 2023 season for all three of our programs – Men, Women and Development – we take a look back and reflect on our journey through what’s been a great year for Team dsm-firmenich. It was a year that saw many victories, memories shared and experiences had, so we hope you enjoy our 2023 highlights article.
Since 2017, our Development program has brought a total of 21 riders to their Men’s program – fact that the whole team is proud of. This year once again sees three promotions to the WorldTour, as Enzo Leijnse, Frank van den Broek and Patrick Eddy make the step up. Results are never a focus but only a bonus in the Development program, with the team’s experts and coaches working with our group of young and up and coming talents to develop them in broader and all-round aspects, moulding them into riders that can take on a WorldTour level of racing.
That said, 2023 was once again a year full of learning for Development Team dsm-firmenich.
Along the way, while focusing on overall development and the fundamentals which are important to becoming a professional rider, the guys were able to get some reasonable results. Vlad van Mechelen showed himself in races like the Youngster Coast Challenge, the Olympias Tour or Tour de Bretagne, where he got his first top 10 results as an U23 rider. On the opening day of the Olympia’s Tour, he even came close to success, by finishing second in the nine-kilometre-long fight against the clock.
At the same race, it was Enzo Leijnse who celebrated the first victory for the Development program in 2023 and his first win in the team colours. He was part of the break, attacked in the final and stayed away until the finish line. In June he once again took to the top step of the podium as he won the U23 time trial championships of the Netherlands. Now finishing his fourth season with the Development program, Leijnse has improved year-on-year as he has progressed through the ranks. After getting more opportunities as a finisher for the Development program this year, he will make the step to the Men’s program this winter.