Date of Birth: March 25, 1991
Place of birth: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Residence: Neerharen, Belgium
Length: 1.85 m
Current team: Jumbo-Visma
|2021/2022 – BORA – Hansgrohe
2017/2020 – Team Sunweb
2015/2016 – Team LottoNL-Jumbo
|2013/2014 – Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
2012 – Rabobank Cycling Team
Wilco started cycling at an early age and soon became very successful. The Dutch rider showed his talent by winning stages and general classifications at the U18 and U23 categories. These outstanding results enabled him to sign his first professional contract with the Rabobank Pro Cycling Team in 2012.
In 2013 he made his debut in a grand tour with a 17th place in the Giro d’Italia. Later that year he confirmed his GC talent by winning the Tour of Denmark, with a stage victory in the individual time trial. A year later, he did even better by finishing 7th in the Giro and achieving a good result in the Vuelta a España with a 14th place. A podium place in a grand tour seemed like the next logical step in his career, especially when he also became Dutch champion time trial in 2015.
However, physical misfortune made its appearance in Kelderman’s career and bad luck continued to haunt him in the years that followed. In the Tour of 2015, a top-10 result was messed up by back pain and a year later he couldn’t get a good result in the general classification. To turn the tide and take the next step in his career, he decided to make a transfer to Team Sunweb.
Wilco’s 2017 season, his first with Team Sunweb, started and ended with bad luck after crashing in both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour of Guangxi. “To step out of the Giro was very disappointing for me. I felt really good and was so motivated to help Tom Dumoulin on his way to pink. It took a little time to make up my mind and set new goals, but luckily I managed to do so.”
During the Vuelta a España, Kelderman showed his resilience by finishing fourth overall, proving he’s one of the most talented Grand Tour riders in the world when he isn’t subject to bad luck. “The first stages were quite hard but after the first week, I felt better and better every day. The awareness of competing against Froome and Nibali in the mountains gave me a lot of confidence. I’m proud of my performance in Spain and very thankful to my teammates, who gave everything to help me.”
After the Vuelta, there were more successes to come. Kelderman finished seventh in the individual time trial during the world championships in Bergen and just a few days earlier, was part of the team that became team time trial world champions. “Winning this title was very special, especially because we managed to do it with a very young team. Everyone felt strong, but we weren’t thinking about winning at all. It felt so natural, everyone knew what to do, took their role on perfectly and were so relaxed. We went like a machine!”
Making a comeback after facing different challenges is great, but most importantly Wilco has found the fun in cycling again. “The team helped me to turn back to the basics; just training, resting, nutrition and nothing else.”
After a promising start to the year at the UAE Tour and Paris-Nice, Wilco’s 2019 season was unfortunately hampered after a crash at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. However, the Dutchman bounced back and finished the season with a seventh place on GC at the Vuelta a España, which only motivated him even more for 2020.
After the strange corona season 2020, he decided to leave Team Sunweb to take an extra step in his already impressive career. From the 2021 season, Wilco will switch to one of the best teams of the moment: Bora-Hansgrohe. Here his goal will be to convert the many top ten places in the general classifications into victories.