27 year-old Dutch Royal Air Force Commander Bart Lemmen, after just ONE season as an amateur racer, has made the incredible leap to the professional peloton for 2023 as a member of the American Human Powered Health team.

“It’s incredible to think that just 15 months ago no one knew who I was in the pro peloton. And I didn’t know anyone either,” he commented after spending a day training five Dutch platoons in military 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.”

2022 was a breakthrough year on the bike for Lemmen where he showcased incredible climbing skills with a victory at the Kreiz Breizh race, a top ten placing on the Tour de Slovaquie’s queen mountain stage, fourth place in the Dutch national road championships and a very impressive third behind behind WorldTour superstar Mathieu van der Poel in Stadprijs Geraardsbergen.

“Bart is a very strong climber, so he will be coming in to help bolster our climbing efforts in 2023 and 2024,” said Human Powered Health team director Jonas Carney after signing Lemmen. 

Lemmen credits his on-the-bike fitness and success to four years in a demanding military program. “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 said. 

Lemmen’s results and meteoric rise are all the more impressive since he did not start recreational cycling until 2018 after his girlfriend suggested he give it a try, though he has always been an athlete, participating in soccer and track as a teen.

With his military career on hold for two years to pursue professional cycling, Lemmen is currently preparing for his professional road debut at the Human Powered Health training camp 7-22 January in Algarve, Portugal.

Photos: Bart Lemming – Instagram