At the start of the pandemic in 2020, then 26 year-old Belgian shoe salesman Olivier Godfroid needed a new challenge, so he started riding his road bike and training semi-seriously, with his eye on riding a few amateur gran fondos. Exactly two years after his first amateur race, and an impressive list of top gran fondo results, the Baloise Trek Lions, a UCI Continental (entry level) pro team, offered Godfroid a professional contract to race on the road.

Strong results at some of the hardest and most prestigious European gran fondos, including wins at Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux (twice) and the 2022 Mallorca 312 gran fondo, had caught the attention of sports director Eric Braes at the Baloise Trek Lions in Belgium.

Braes invited Godfroid to visit the team headquarters, explained the racing program and extended a full pro contract to Godfroid.

Godfroid’s answer did not take long…Yes!

Now, rather than trying to squeeze in training and racing while selling shoes full-time during the week, Godfroid will focus all his energy and time on cycling. This coming spring he will return to the island of Mallorca, not to defend his Mallorca 312 title, but to join the rest of the Baloise Trek Lions at his first pro training camp.

“I am very grateful for this new challenge and hope to take another step on the road next season. I can’t wait for the spring internship with the team in Mallorca next spring,” Godffroid commented of his new opportunity to Live The Dream.

Photos: Beloise Trek Lions, Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux