Team dsm-firmenich are delighted to reveal two more recruits to their Men’s program for the 2024 campaign with Emils Liepiņš and Julius van den Berg set to wear the team’s colours for next season.
The experienced Liepiņš has made his way through the cycling world, progressing steadily from the Continental ranks with teams from his native Latvia, before making the step-up to the Pro Continental circuit. A hard-working and determined individual, Liepiņš got his breakthrough in the WorldTour in 2020 and has since developed into a reliable rider which his team can count on; whether that’s setting up his finishers, or also producing good results himself. A powerful and fast rider, Liepiņš packs a strong punch and that’s evident with his impressive win from a reduced group at Heistse Pijl back in 2018, or his back-to-back victories at the Latvian national championships in the past two seasons. Bringing that speed, resilience and experience to the team, Liepiņš will join Team dsm-firmenich’s burgeoning sprint group; where he will play an important role in the lead-out.
Liepiņš said: “I’ve always respected the team as they are a team that are always together with a plan, and I’m someone who likes structure like that. The guys work together like a unit, without one person in isolation doing their own thing. I also see this as a good opportunity for me to grow as a rider and to become better and stronger. I’m super happy to be here and looking forward to bringing some nice results with the team whether that’s helping in the sprint group, or if I get my own chances as finisher. I’m already really impressed with how things have gone from my talks and meetings with them so far, so I’m excited to get on the road with the team next season.”
Team dsm-firmenich coach Rudi Kemna added: “Emils has had a good and successful career so far and brings his experience of riding at the highest level to our sprint group. Yet, we think that he still has a lot of untapped potential in both the lead-outs and as a sprint finisher himself. Working with our group of experts and trainers, we hope to get that next bit out of him where he can then play an important part within our lead-out, utilising his speed and power to deliver our finishers in a great spot. Next to this we will also give him the opportunity to go for results with the team as finisher in some races too.”
Julius van den Berg
Hailing from Purmerend in the province of North Holland, Van den Berg has been racing in the professional ranks since the middle of the 2018 season; after he made the step up from a strong U23 career which saw him claim the Dutch road race and time trial titles, plus another four UCI level wins. Since making the transition to WorldTour racing Van den Berg has plied himself ably at the service of his teammates, often found working selflessly at the front of the bunch to aid breakaway chases, or positioning others for the finale. Putting his good engine on display, he’s taken places of honour in the elite Dutch time trial championships, but the crowning display of his career so far was a win on the final day at the Tour de Pologne where he was the fastest from a strong breakaway that held off a charging peloton. Moving to Team dsm-firmenich, Van den Berg will aim to put that power to use as a valuable member of the squad.
Van den Berg expressed: “Team dsm-firmenich are a well-structured team, and I’m excited about the new surroundings and new people I’ll be working with, and I’ll also be re-united with some familiar faces. As a cyclist, I enjoy winning – either if that’s by myself crossing the line first or by helping the team to triumph. For me, the best thing is to collaborate with others to achieve a goal; that’s really fulfilling. I can help the younger guys with my own experience in positioning, while I also don’t mind pulling on the front and ensuring the guys arrive at the final as fresh as possible so we can compete for top results. I also like to try and keep the group tight knit, so I also aim to bring some encouragement and enjoyment off the bike to help with that.”
Team dsm-firmenich head coach Rudi Kemna continued: “Julius is a really strong rider who knows what he wants and expects from not only himself, but those around him. He has a strong engine and will add a lot of horsepower to the engine room of our team. Julius will play an important role in support of our finishers and is someone who can help to control the race and create different race scenarios that will be in our favour as we hunt for more success next season.”