Taco van der Hoorn: From almost leaving professional cycling to becoming a Giro d'Italia stage winner
May 11 2021 02:15 am CET

Taco van der Hoorn: From almost leaving professional cycling to becoming a Giro d'Italia stage winner
Taco van der Hoorn: From almost leaving professional cycling to becoming a Giro d'Italia stage winner
Photo of Taco van der Hoorn (c)cyclingmedia

Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) has shown an outstanding performance at the third stage of the Giro d'Italia, months after he considered leaving cycling.

By Maritza Cárdenas

The end of 2020 wasn't easy for the then 26-year-old as his contract with Jumbo-Visma wasn't extended and he couldn't find anywhere to go. The Dutchman spent two seasons in the team of his country and suddenly hadn't anywhere to go, as he knew that his time in the WorldTour formation was over and races in which he wanted to show himself like Dwars door het Hageland and the Dutch national championships didn't work in his favour.

And after some good performances with the team being a domestique for Dylan Groenewegen and Wout van Aert -a role that he had to adapt to in this team as he was in a different one in his previous team Roompot- by November he didn't know what his future was going to look like.

"I studied so I could work as a trainer," he said in an interview with the Dutch website Wielerflits at the end of 2020. "But at the moment I enjoy cycling so much that I want to keep doing it. I still enjoy the competitions and the training. The days when I spend seven hours on the bike are the best."

The year ended with him signing with the Continental team Beat Cycling, but weeks later Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert -a team that recently became part of the WorldTour- gave him a Christmas and late birthday present by signing him.

On May 10th of 2021, the Dutchman was part of the escape of the third stage of the Giro d'Italia.

On the last kilometres, he pushed hard to leave his only companion -Simon Pellaud- behind while the chasers and the peloton were breathing down his neck. A quick glance in the last kilometre confirmed what he had dreamed of, he crossed the finish line in the first position and took his second victory on the WorldTour calendar -after winning one stage in the 2018 BinckBank Tour- and his maiden one in a Grand Tour.

After the celebrations -in which he was even joined by some of his old teammates of Jumbo-Visma- he reflected on the past and the moments in which his career was in doubt. "Three years ago, I suffered a serious concussion after a crash," he said. "I had to hang up my bike for eight months. My career was hanging by a thread then.

"It was also the case at the end of last season when I was without a contract. But I persisted and I finally received my chance at Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. The team gave me a great program and I'm happy I could reward them with this victory."
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TACO VAN DER HOORN





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