In 2012, Tim Wellens (31 years old) jumped to professionalism at the hands of the Lotto Soudal team, and he was one of its big stars for the last decade. Nothing more and nothing less than 34 wins, with a list of achievements that includes stages in the Giro and La Vuelta… and five in the Challenge de Mallorca, where a new era begins. After eleven seasons, the Belgian decided to turn his career around by being called up by the UAE Team Emirates. A classic profile, and it is that, under the direction of Matxin, they thought of him as the ideal rider to make a leap in quality in this type of event. A challenge that motivates Wellens. “I was very good in the Lotto, but personally I needed a change. New goals, new colleagues, different things”tells AS in Mallorca.
He is the only Belgian in the squad and the second in the entire history of the UAE after Jasper Philipsen, who left in 2021 for Alpecin. “In the Lotto we spoke Belgian, French, Dutch… and here it is English and also some Spanish and Italian. I am defending myself, ”he says with a smile. His roadmap for this year is “more or less decided”, and it is that after Mallorca he will be in Murcia in the first half of February. “The goal is to get to the classics well. Hopefully I can win some this season with my new team. I feel motivated”, stands out in the Majorcan rain. Despite being weather conditions in which it performs “well”, prefers to run on “cloudy and not very hot” days. Of the 34 successes in his career, twelve were on Spanish soil: “i love spain. The concentrations, the trainings and the races here. Luckily I was able to win several times”.
He will be in the Tour de France as one of Pogacar’s squires. “The idea is to help Tadej this summer. When I got to the team and got to know him in depth, I saw that he was a very normal and pleasant person.. A great guy ”, he explains about the Slovenian. With victories in Giro y Vuelta, he still needs to raise his arms in the Tour to add his name to the list of grand tour winners: “It would be very nice.” And, in his family, Tim Wellens is not the only professional athlete… “When I’m not riding my bike, I watch some basketball… but when my cousin plays. His name is Hans Vanwijn. Last season he played in Zaragoza and now he is in Paris”, says Tim. He is a corpulent Belgian (2.08 meters) who plays forward and power forward. Last season he averaged 6.4 points, 2.9 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per game.. This summer he played the Eurobasket (which Spain won) with his team and then he began a new stage in Paris, the same new stage that his cousin Tim started in Mallorca outside his comfort zone. Time for changes in the family.