Who is Edward Theuns?
At just 23, it goes without saying that Edward Theuns will be the next Topsport Vlaanderen rider to sign with a World Tour team. The Belgian outfit is well-known for the development of young riders – Sep Vanmarcke, Thomas De Gendt, Kris Boeckmans, Kristof Vandewalle, Yves Lampaert and Tom Van Asbroeck being just some of the cyclists who landed impressive results in the past years, before going on to make another important step in their career by transfering to a World Tour team.
A pro since 2014, Theuns comes from Gent, and after playing football at the beginning, he switched to cycling and underlined his potential very early, by winning seven kermesses. Then, during his first U23 season, he came into the spotlight, taking a stage in the Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux, ahead of Taylor Phinney, John Degenkolb or Wilco Kelderman, who now are all well-established riders in the World Tour. Two years later, in 2012, he put on a fine display before taking gold at the Provincial Championships of West-Flanders, in the individual time trial, a result which was followed by a top 10 finish in Paris-Tours, where he was one of the Belgian team’s leaders.
His best season as an amateur came in 2013, when he scored two wins in his home country (a stage in the Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux and the prologue of the Ronde van de Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen) and showed he’s not only a powerful rider against the clock, but also very fast in a sprint, especially when the terrain is challenging, as was the case with stages of Giro del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Tour de la Moselle, and the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, where he came in 6th.
After such strong rides, Topsport Vlaanderen came with an offer and Edward Theuns turned pro in 2014. His first season in this category was above expectations, with a victory in the Grote Prijs Stad Zottegem and eight top 10 placings, in one-day races, but also in stages of the Ruta del Sol, the Tour of Belgium and the Arctic Race of Noway. His development was outstanding last year, so when this season began, Theuns got to score immediately some impressive results, in the Etoile de Bessèges – where his consistence brought him the points classification – and in the Clasica de Almeria, where he finished 5th in the bunch sprint.
Now he is ready to kick off his Classics campaign, with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Gent-Wevelgem being on his schedule for the next weeks. If his form will continue on the cobbles of Northern Europe, there will be only question left: for which World Tour team will Edward Theuns ride in 2016?