Sports Director Merijn Zeeman, who knows Hivert from their mutual spell at Skil-Shimano in 2009, thinks the rider suits the Belkin Pro Cycling Team perfectly. “He has the personality of a winner, but is also a team player. That is the strength of our team as well. A lot of guys here know exactly how to help others, but can also win on their own.”
Zeeman has great confidence in Hivert. “I’m really looking forward to working with him again. He has clear ideas and opinions, but is also open to coaching and advice.”
This year, Hivert triumphed in the Étoile des Bessèges and also won two stages in the Ruta del Sol, where he defeated such names as Alejandro Valverde and Bauke Mollema. In Paris-Nice, he ended up 22nd overall after several top finishes. In the Tour of Luxembourg, he rode to second behind his future teammate, Paul Martens.
“In those kinds of races, we can really use Jonathan,” Zeeman said. “He wants to help others, but we can also assign him as a co-leader in certain races. In short uphill finals, he can be deadly. In some of these race he can maybe even focus on the GC.”
Hivert is very pleased with the opportunity to ride for the Belkin Pro Cycling Team. “I have a very good feeling about this move. Belkin is a fantastic team, one of the better ones in the peloton. They have a good philosophy. During races I’ve also seen that there’s a real team spirit among the riders. That really appeals to me.”
For Hivert, 2014 will be his first year at World Tour level. “I’m going to race at the highest level. I can only get better because of that. I’m 28, and I have my best years ahead of me. I would like to learn from all the great riders within the team and I hope to discover myself in the big races.”