Soil, Water & Atmosphere student Jan-Willem van Schip is to become a professional cyclist. He will join the Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij team on 1 January. This means that he now has to work hard to finish his degree on time.
Jan-Willem van Schip cycling back to the Netherlands from France last summer. Photo Jan-Willem van Schip
Van Schip is doing one more module in this period. ‘Then I have to sort out my thesis, after which I’m done.’ He would like to finish by 1 February. ‘But a bit of a delay is not a problem. As a prof, I may have to train somewhat more than now but I’ll probably also spend much more time resting and hanging out on the sofa. It’s all about the optimum balance between exertion and rest.’
Van Schip expects to get more experience and to toughen up at Roompot-De Nederlandse Loterij. ‘At first I wasn’t totally enthusiastic as I wanted to get into the World Tour. That’s basically the Champions League of cycling. But the more I get used to the idea, the more opportunities I see. I can take part in the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the Amstel Gold. Those are good races.’
Van Schip competed in the 2016 Olympic Games as a track cyclist and won the Tour of Drenthe last March. This summer, he won the hearts of cycling fans with his authentic performance in the Tour de France programme Avondetappe. His 1000 kilometre bike ride back home from France following his TV appearance got a lot of attention on social media.