AFTER impressing with top Belgian amateur outfit KSV Deerlijk-Gaverzicht-Matexi last year Muff native Matthew Doyle is off to the land of Eddy Merckx as a professional in 2013 to ride with the Roeselare-based Jonge Renners squad,
The 17-year-old who rode with the Foyle Cycling Club in Ireland secured the deal last October after impressing in Belgium during the 2012 season.
“They saw me when Daniel Stewart (Antrim-based prospect) and I first went to Belgium with the Belgian Project for four weeks in the second half of the season,” said Doyle.
“I managed to win a kermesse when I was there and the team offered me a contract on the basis of that. It really was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.”
He was spotted during his guest riding in Belgium by Benny Engels (Quick Step youth team manager) and was subsequently recommended by Engels.
It’s a testament to the impression Doyle made that he was snapped up by the youth development man at an outfit whose seniors for 2013 include Grand Tour regulars Tom Boonen, Mark Cavendish and Tony Martin.
During 2013 he will participate in many interclubs (supported by ten thousands spectators every race).
The Inishowen youngster follows in the footsteps of Irish cycling great Sean Kelly and many other English-speaking riders such as Greg LeMond who started off on the road to the Tour de France in Benelux.