Human Powered Health has completed the signing of Dutch puncheur Bart Lemmen who will join through 2024. A 26-year-old from Utrecht in the Netherlands, Lemmen signs from the continental VolkerWessels Cycling Team. 2023 will be the first season where he will be a full-time professional, having been a platoon commander in the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
“Bart is a very strong climber, so he will be coming in to help bolster our climbing efforts in 2023 and 2024,” said performance director Jonas Carney.
2022 was a breakthrough year on the bike for Lemmen with a victory on a hilly Kreiz Breizh Elites stage, a top ten placing on the Tour de Slovaquie’s queen mountain stage, fourth place in his road national championships and third behind Mathieu and David van der Poel in Stadprijs Geraardsbergen.
Lemmen has had a staggering route into the sport quite unlike many other professionals, with his first listed result in a major race coming 15 months ago in the Dutch time trial championships.
“It’s mind blowing to think that 15 months ago nobody had heard of Bart Lemmen and I’d heard of nobody,” he says on his way back from his day job being responsible for the training of five platoons in command, tactics and procedures. “I’m really looking forward to showing the peloton what I’m capable of because my full potential is yet to be seen.”
A rider that excels on hilly terrain, Lemmen hopes that 2023 will offer him the chance to take on races with more elevation in them, as well as pursue his strong ability in the race of truth. He may have been relatively ‘late’ to the racing side of cycling, but the Dutchman was always an athlete having played soccer and ran track and cross country as a teenager before joining the Air Force.
“The military training had a lot of physical exercise in it as well with speed marches and CrossFit training. Basically, everything you see on TV with military training is true,” he explains.
Having undergone the training for four years, Lemmen was then convinced to race at the amateur levels by his girlfriend, he promptly started winning virtually every race he entered before being promoted to platoon commander in the Air Force in 2018, which temporarily halted his racing focus.
“I had to work in the nights on security detail on the base and then also in the evenings and on the weekends,” he says. “Then 2021 came and I came back and focused on time trialing. The rest is history.”
In January Lemmen will become a full-time athlete, but his military training has had a profound effect on his cycling, both physically and mentally.
“I think the main thing, and it’s a bit of a cliché, but sometimes cycling is not fun and you really have to persevere. That’s something I have learnt from the military,” he explains. “Also dealing with stress or excitement, to make the right decision in the right moment even though you are exhausted. In every condition, you have to make a good decision.”
Although a natural leader, Lemmen understands that he is fairly new in the sport and is looking forward to learning from the experiences of his teammates, while also imparting what he has learnt off the bike.
“I think I can teach other guys besides cycling a lot, how to cope and work together in groups and cooperation, that’s my speciality, but I still need to learn a lot on the bike from the rest of the guys.”
Watch out for more announcements as we build towards 2023.
2023 roster so far
Adam de Vos
Embret Svestad Bårdseng
Gijs Van Hoecke