At 22, Alexey Vermeulen has some big decisions to make about his future in cycling. The young American was let go by LottoNL-Jumbo after his first two-year neo-pro contract, and he’s still without a team as January approaches.
Vermeulen signed on with LottoNL-Jumbo in 2016 after riding for the BMC Development Team, but he told Cyclingnews communication with the team began to deteriorate in July.
“I had to read between the lines a lot,” Vermeulen said by phone from Austria, where he is visiting his girlfriend and starting his training.
“It didn’t start deteriorating until the end of July, the middle of July, but until that point, it was all green-go,” he said. “Every time I asked, everything on that front was looking good. There weren’t any negative things, and then it just started going downhill. But you keep believing that they’re waiting. The worst thing for me was the reasoning changed three or four times before the final answer.”
Vermeulen had plenty of opportunities to show himself with LottoNL-Jumbo, competing in a healthy 62 race days in 2016 and 64 this year. He had a steady diet of WorldTour races both years, including Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Tour de Romandie, Criterium du Dauphine, Il Lombardia, Tour Down Under, Abu Dhabi Tour and Strade Bianche, among others.
During those two years, Vermeulen also proved to be one the of the top American riders, finishing third in the time trial at US pro championships in 2016, and finishing third in the road race and seventh in the time trial in 2017. His best result with LottoNL-Jumbo came in the 2017 Criterium du Dauphine, where he finished fifth from a breakaway on stage 5.
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