Development Team DSM’s Pavel Bittner and Casper van Uden promoted to the WorldTour

Rider Announcements

After steady progress season-on-season, Team DSM are delighted to announce that Pavel Bittner and Casper van Uden will be promoted to their Men’s program as of August 1st this year; becoming the 13th and 14th riders respectively to make the step up to WorldTour level after coming through the ranks of the Development program since its inception in 2017. Both riders will wear the team’s distinctive two-striped jersey until at least the end of the 2024 season.

Pavel Bittner (CZE)

Off the back of a strong junior career where he took back-to-back Czech road race titles alongside several other top results, Bittner joined Team DSM’s Development program in 2021. Finding his feet quickly at U23 level, he claimed an emotional win in his home stage at Course de la Paix while riding for his national team which he followed up with some strong results in the sprints with the Development program at Course Cycliste de Solidarnosc when he was the team’s finisher, and where he was also an integral part of leading out Van Uden to two stage wins. This year has seen Bittner continue his development and further show his versatility; helping the Development program to wins at Tour de Normandie while also impressing when riding alongside the Men’s program over tough and punchy terrain such as his ninth place at a hard-fought, hilly edition of Rund um Köln.

Bittner said: “From the start I’ve been really happy with the way we’ve worked together as a team. I think at this point there is a lot of mutual trust. It’s the perfect environment for me to grow as a cyclist and as a human. It was a big jump from juniors to U23 but with some really good training plans from the team, I have improved a lot on the bike and I feel like the way I can see and read the races has improved too. I’ve learned a lot from the more experienced guys in the Development program, but also the Men’s program when we’ve rode with mixed squads which has been great. The guys and the team have made me feel like I belong. I want to learn as much as I can, gain as much experience and progress at a pace that is possible.”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Pavel is a smart and articulate person, who brings a lot to the group with his way of working and thinking. He can be quiet in nature at times but when he brings something it is always well thought out and of value. He’s a team player and is always willing to dig deep for our goals when riding in support but he’s also a very talented rider capable of going for results himself as the team’s finisher while with the Development program. We’ve seen that with his several top five and podium finishes, but also in his strong rides alongside our Men’s program where he’s performed well in either the lead outs or his ninth at Rund um Köln, which was a stand out performance. We’re excited to make the next steps with Pavel and continue our journey together; allowing him the space to grow us an athlete and person with us in the coming years.”

Casper van Uden (NED)

Now into his third season with the Development program, Van Uden has made steps year-on-year with the team; continually growing as an athlete and as a person. Like many, Van Uden’s 2020 season was short due to the pandemic, but he impressed in the races he did and was part of the team’s TTT success at Ronde de l’Isard. Last year saw Van Uden have a “breakthrough” season, taking an impressive two sprint wins at Course Cycliste de Solidarnosc where he ended third on GC. He followed that up later in the season with a superb win after a tough day of racing at Ronde van Achterhoek and a battling second place at Paris-Tous U23 where he “won” the bunch sprint behind future teammate Iversby Hvideberg. Continuing this upward trend, Van Uden has gained a lot of experience riding alongside the Men’s program in races such as the Saudi Tour and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in 2022, which has helped him to take three sprint wins: two at the Tour de Normandie and one at Tour de Bretagne, after some superb work by the team. Furthermore, a brilliantly earned fourth place at a brutally hard edition of Scheldeprijs hints at Van Uden’s more rounded ability and potential for the classics in the future.

Van Uden said: “I am really looking forward to making the step up and joining the Men’s program in the WorldTour – it’s a dream coming true. Since joining Team DSM I’ve felt comfortable with how the team works and the plan for my development that we’re following, all of which is going really well so far, and we hope that continues. I’ve learned a lot in my time with the Development program, both from my teammates and staff, and I want to build on that at the next level with the team. It’s also been great to ride with some of the Men’s program in races already, they’ve made me feel welcome and that will hopefully make the transition easier. Looking ahead I want to learn as much as I can, keep progressing with the team in the next years, and hopefully in the future I can become a key rider with the team.”

Team DSM coach Rudi Kemna continued: “We’ve spent a good three years together with Casper in our Development program, and it’s really nice to see him in the place that he is ready to be promoted to our Men’s program. Casper has taken steps each year with us and has shown himself to be versatile on the bike where he can cope with some climbs and cobbles, but also packs a fast finish – which has seen him take several wins and strong results as our finisher. Off the bike, he’s a smart and personable character, who’s always willing to listen to advice but is also open with us too which allows us to have honest conversations with each other. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with Casper and see him further his development with us, improving together.”