Getting to Know Yves Lampaert
He has a mild disposition, he's always available and smiling, but on a bike he is decisive and resolute. We're talking about Yves Lampaert, the 24-year-old from di Ingelmunster (Belgium) who joined the team this year.
Yves started pedaling relatively late in life, at 17, after practicing Judo. He is already integrated marvelously into the Etixx - Quick-Step team.
"To be honest, it wasn't all that difficult," says Yves. "On the squad there is a great atmosphere and team spirit. The guys have welcomed me very well. Even in Algarve, where I raced side by side with a champion like Tony. Kwiato and Styby, it's also a pleasure to ride with them. When you do your job well they always thank you and make you feel appreciated. Away from the race they are "funny guys". We had a lot of fun. In the race we are concentrated and focused on the objective, but we also manage to relax. We kid around with each other a lot. Then there's Gianni, with his music that keeps us company on every bus trip. Even the first impression with the team in Australia was interesting. I learned a lot right off the bat. For me it was my first time in Australia, so I took advantage of it to have a look around. Then we also won a nice race with Gianni, and I felt like I was a part of that victory. When you win, everything is 'double fun!'"
Yves or "Yvke" as he's called on the team, studied agro-business at university, following in the footsteps of his family, who owns a farm near Ingelmuster.
"My parents and my brother are involved in this business, and I like it a lot, too," Yves said. "I also live on the farm with the family and I like the lifestyle, in tune with the rhythms of nature. It helps me find peace and to be more reflective. We don't have animals now, but we work on the crops a lot. I like it a lot and in the future I'd like to work in this world."
However, for now Yves is busy "full gas" with the team.
"Yes, now this is my job and I love it," Yves said. "I want to learn from my teammates and from the team structure. For now my job is to try to set up the others in condition to win, but I also have a few personal ambitions. I adore Paris-Roubaix and sooner or later I want to ride it with this team. Being on a team with this tradition for the cobblestones really motivates me, even when it rains and it's cold, it's no problem for me to go out and train."
Not for nothing do they call him the Bull from Ingelmunster, a village in Flanders not far from the team's service course. "I really like going to the service course to do a set up for the bike or even just to talk with the mechanics and staff. Bicycles and technology related to bikes really fascinates me."
Ride on, Yves!