As a fan of Sven Nys, during his time as a swimmer, Victor expressed the wish that he’d like to ride a cyclocross. With a second-hand cyclocross bike -but without any bike training- he rode a few cyclocrosses with the juniors. Victor lacked the technique to compete for the prizes, yet he could easily finish those races. This is where his winner’s mentality showed! He never cared for second places. He quickly forgot about cyclocross, but the interest for the bike was sparked. In the meantime, he – partly because of his physique – faced his limits and felt that swimming on a professional level was not meant to be. This him decide to say goodbye to the swimming world, but not to the sport world. He easily passed the admission tests of the top sports school for triathlon and from then on he could exercise under professional supervision. He was accompanied by Kurt Lobbestael, a trainer who based his approach in facts and science and could urge Victor to work on the details. An approach Victor liked. As a triathlete, performances followed quickly. He was a strong swimmer and on the bike, no one was faster than him. In Belgium or abroad, Victor always was the first to start his run. But here too, his limits showed quickly. His poor running capabilities caused him frustration, injuries and missed victories. He started to think about applying for a racing license. Still following the tight schedules of Kurt Lobbestael, Victor continued to work and was able to ride his first races and even win. The way he won those races aroused the interest of the Lotto-Belisol U23 team, where Victor was able to finish his last year as a U23 cyclist. Better support and equipment inspired him to live even more for his sport. As he used to be a swimmer and triathlete, where fighting against yourself is the obvious thing to do, time trial became his specialty.When in 2013 he won the European title in Brno in the Czech Republic and the Belgian tricolore in Maldegem, a professional contract with Topsport Vlaanderen was the logical next step. In this training team he was able to develop his time trial skills even more. His first year was a confirmation that he was worthy of being a professional cyclist. Positioning, boldness and insight remained his working points. During his second year as a pro he took a solid step forward in many ways. A contract with the LottoNL-Jumbo WorldTour team was another important step up the ladder. Here he had to say goodbye to his trusted coach Kurt Lobbestael and started working with the entourage of the Dutch team. This proved to be a welcome change and his level was strongly boosted. After the famous “Carlien daten?” incident, where the team didn’t allow him to go full gas during a time trial in the Giro d’Italia, the relationship with the team cooled down. With another Belgian and European title in his pocket, he returned to the familiar nest of today’s Lotto-Soudal in 2018, after two years of Dutch employment.
Now he’s not considered a domestique anymore and in his new team he can fully concentrate on his specialty: time trial! He started working together with trainer Kurt Lobbestael again and expanded his coaching team with a physiotherapist, doctor and embedded scientist. This approach is paying off and leads to results. With another Belgian and European title, he reaches his peak in Innsbruck. For now anyway! With a Bronze medal after Rohan Dennis and Tom Dumoulin he writes his name into the history books by being the first Belgian ever to win a medal on a World Championship time trial! Now he is working towards his next very prestigious goal… In Mexico in April 2019 he will attack the hour record of Sir Bradley Wiggins.
2020 will be an Olympic year. Can he make his big dream come true in Tokyo? Olympic gold in time trial!