Team DSM continue with multitude of talents in their Development program

Contract Announcements

Off the back of a strong 2021 season where Team DSM’s Development program have taken seven wins alongside numerous other strong results and good performances throughout the year, the team have extended contracts with several riders. Leo Hayter, Enzo Leijnse, Casper van Uden and Hannes Wilksch will race in the team’s colours until at least the end of 2022, while Oscar Onley is contracted through 2023.

Photo Credit: © Freddy Guérin / DirectVelo

Leo Hayter (GBR)

Spending two years with Development Team DSM so far, Hayter has been a part of good team successes and taken some solid results himself too. The 2020 Ronde de l’Isard saw him as part of the winning team time trial outfit, with Hayter climbing well over the challenging terrain to take eighth on stage two and end the race in 12th on GC: an impressive result for someone in their first year at that level. 2021 has seen Hayter gain some important experience riding alongside some of the team’s Men program riders in races such as Coppi e Bartali and the Tour of Norway, alongside helping the team to three wins at Solidarnosc and Ronde van Achterhoek. September has seen Hayter in brilliant form with an incredible win at Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 and an impressive performance to win stage two at the Tour de Bretagne.

Hayter said: “I’ve had a good two years with Team DSM so far. I’ve had trust shown in my ability throughout the process and I’m happy to have been able to show that in recent weeks. I’m looking forward to another year with the Development program to sharpen my race craft and to try to achieve some results in the biggest races of the U23 calendar with the team.”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna continued: “Leo is a very talented rider who after a difficult start to the year has bounced back well and continues to make progress within the team – we’ve seen that with his recent performances in September where he has taken two great wins for the team at Liège and Tour de Bretagne. We want to continue to work on his general development, helping to make him a more complete rider to unlock his full potential on the bike.”

Photo Credit: © Cor Vos

Enzo Leijnse (NED)

Leijnse has spent two years with Development Team DSM so far as he continues to make the transition from juniors to U23 and elite level racing. A powerful rider, 2020 saw Leijnse as part of the team’s excellent team time trial victory at Ronde de l’Isard which followed from his seventh place at the European U23 TT championships – an impressive result for someone in their first year at that level. 2021 has seen Leijnse continue to develop, where he’s put his powerful attributes to use, pulling the front of the peloton or by going on the attack, while also gaining experience riding with the Men’s program.

Leijnse said: “I’ve really enjoyed my first two years with Team DSM. I’ve fitted in well with the rest of the Development program guys and I feel like I’ve learned a lot from the team so far. I’m excited to be in the team for another year and to keep developing as a rider and as a person.”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Enzo has made good steps in his two years with us so far, and he’s progressing in a good way with the team, developing a strong engine. He has a great attitude and is open to learning and listening to advice, and fully gets the team’s way of working. We believe that with our approach, then Enzo can continue to develop with us in a very good way.”

Photo Credit: © Cor Vos

Oscar Onley (GBR)

Joining Development Team DSM at the start of 2021, Onley has found his feet within the team as he makes the step up from juniors. With his 2020 racing program in juniors curtailed due to the pandemic, this season has all been about gaining experience for the Scot as he adapts to the team. Settling in well, Onley has shown his strength on the bike with good performances at races such as Kreizh Breizh Elites and Tour of Norway, where he’s worked selflessly as a domestique to help the team’s goals and gaining some important experience of riding alongside the Men’s program.

Onley said: “This year has been a big learning curve on and off the bike with a lot of highs and lows, but the team has really helped me through the different periods and we can both recognise the improvement I’ve made. I have a good relationship with everyone in the team and believe it’s the best environment for myself to develop and make the next steps. In the coming years I hope to improve in my weak areas as well as learning more about the team dynamics in different races. Hopefully this can result in some more top results for the team or myself!”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna continued: “Oscar is always open to advice and works in a really good way with the team. He’s made some nice development steps with us in his first year here and with our way of working then we think that he can continue to make big steps in the coming years. We want to focus mainly on his general development to begin with, allowing to him develop broadly as a rider.”

Photo Credit: © Maikel Sellink

Casper van Uden (NED)

Like most, 2020 saw a truncated debut season for Van Uden with Development Team DSM, but he was still part of a win as the team took stage victory in the team time trial at Ronde de l’Isard. This season has seen Van Uden’s development come on leaps and bounds with the team. A third place at the Dutch road race championships was followed up by two impressive stage wins at Course Cycliste de Solidarnosc after some excellent lead outs, before a recent win at the tough Dutch one day race, Ronde van Achterhoek. Looking ahead, Van Uden wants to continue his development and take more successes with the team.

Van Uden explained: “I’ve enjoyed my time with Team DSM so far and looking forward to continuing that. The confidence the team has in me is really nice, and it makes me feel appreciated as a rider and person. I felt like I’ve developed a lot so far with Team DSM and I’m excited to keep improving over the coming years too.”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Year-on-year Casper has improved really nicely and we’re happy to have him in the Development program for another season. We have a lot of trust in him as a rider and we want to continue working together so that he’s able to win races as the team’s finisher. Casper is an open and honest person, and the personality he brings to the team is great and helpful. We want to build on his general development next year and continue to improve his overall level.”

Photo Credit: © Cor Vos

Hannes Wilksch (GER)

A strong rider who can cope with the climbs and produce a good time trial, Wilksch took an impressive fourth place in the German U23 time trial championships in 2020, a strong result for someone in their first year at that level. Since then, Wilksch has continued to develop in 2021 where he has produced some strong rides over the hills, mountains and flat lands, working ably to help protect and position the team’s designated finishers on those days. With his eyes on 2022, Wilksch aims to keep on improving with Development Team DSM.

Wilksch said: “I’m really happy to continue my time here with Team DSM. In my last two years I’ve learnt a lot. Unfortunately, last year was quite tough with Covid but I still made a good step, and then this year I also made another good step. I’ve had some bad luck with breaking my collarbone in the beginning of the season and I crashed a few other times. Maybe the results don’t show that I’ve made that step, but numbers wise and development wise, I think things are going well. I’m happy to work with all the team’s experts and continue to learn from them. Next year I want to hopefully make another step with the team and achieve some nice results together with them.”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Hannes works in a really good way with the team and has made some nice steps with us so far in his two years, so we’re happy to continue with him for a third year. We believe that if we continue working with Hannes, then he can continue to make those steps. We want to still focus on his general development at the moment and help him to become a more complete rider.”