ProTeam Viktor Verschaeve ends cycling career after prolonged injury
Lotto Dstny rider Viktor Verschaeve has announced his retirement from professional cycling. The 24-year-old Belgian took the decision due to a long-standing injury, which started in his first pro year and caused him never to show his full potential. In the past two years, Verschaeve underwent several surgeries, contacted multiple specialists. Those did not bring a clear solution, which made the Belgian decide to stop his cycling career at the age of 24.
Viktor Verschaeve, rider of the Lotto Dstny Development Team, explains the decision. “Already in 2021, my first pro year, the injury caused troubles. They assumed a narrowed iliac artery, but a surgery didn’t improve much. In 2022 I could do an almost complete season, but the complaints remained and I never could use my entire capacity. At the end of ’22, I underwent another surgery, which didn’t bring any solution either.”
To give Verschaeve the chance to recover at his own pace, the rider was transferred to the Lotto Dstny Development Team for the 2023 season.
“The step to the Development Team ensured that I could build on the road back at my own pace, but unfortunately recent examinations decided otherwise. These showed that there isn’t any medical solution for the injury. That is why I took the decision to stop. I postponed the final decision for a long time as I was still hoping to find a solution. I am really grateful to Lotto Dstny that they kept supporting me during the entire process, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.”
Verschaeve turned pro at Lotto Soudal in 2021 after he was part of the Development Team for two years. In 2019, he took second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23, in 2020 he won a stage in the famous Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc.
“Of course, I would have liked to race some longer. I was hopeful and kept on searching for solutions, I visited multiple specialists… It’s tough but I’m also at peace with it. I am really proud that I could turn pro due to the evolution I had at the U23 category with that Savoie stage win as the absolute highlight. It’s not yet clear what the future will bring. I have several options, I remain in love with the cycling world but first I’ll take some time to sort things out…”, concludes Verschaeve.
Foto: Facepeeters, Freddy Guérin - DirectVelo.