Ready to turn pro? How one WorldTour-rider-turned-gravel-privateer wants to help you bridge the gap from developing rider to the gravel pro

Two young riders will get a chance of a lifetime with the support of Alexey Vermeulen and some of the industry's biggest brands

Alexey Vermeulen
(Image credit: Alexey Vermeulen)

For young Americans, embarking on a career in professional cycling has always been a challenging one. But as American road cycling struggles with dwindling participation numbers and a lack of events in the U.S. the previous stepping stones and showcasing opportunities have also gone. What's more, gravel is fast emerging as the biggest cycling sport in America, yet in this sector of privateers and individuals, development programs are non-existent. Former WorldTour-rider-turned-gravel privateer Alexey Vermeulen hopes to change that.

Vermeulen today launched a first-of-its-kind initiative called Phase II, which aims to open the doors for talented young cyclists by offering them the education, industry connections, and equipment support to realize their dreams.

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Anne-Marije Rook
North American Editor

Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.

Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.